Important steps were taken at the 4th ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting (ADMM), held on May 10-11 in Hanoi, Vietnam. The ASEAN members signed a joint declaration for the formation of ADMM-Plus - being “a key feature of regional security architecture”.
As the international centre of economics and security is moving towards East Asia, the challenge lies in developing architecture to enhance the region’s role in international affairs. Although there is the ASEAN+3, ASEAN Regional Forum and East Asia Summit proving the importance of the region, the growing interest of US and Russia to deepen engagement in the region, has led to discussion amongst ASEAN leaders for the creation of ASEAN+8- bringing in the two powers to join the existing ASEAN partners; China, India, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and South Korea.
ADMM+8, a regional security architecture, comprises United States, China, India, Japan, Korea, Australia, New Zealand, and Russia- the same countries that would be included in the expanded East Asian Summit and ASEAN+8. The ASEAN Defence Ministers' agreement to establish the ADMM-Plus in 2010 is in line with the ASEAN Leaders' guidance for the early implementation of the ADMM-Plus- enhancing the legitimacy of the ASEAN as a regional cooperative bloc and the engagement of the US and Russia in East Asia.
Singapore Defence Minister, Mr Teo said “Over time, the ADMM-Plus could also provide a platform for practical co-operation between ASEAN and its partners on key security issues, especially on non-traditional and transnational challenges."
An ADMM Plus meeting is scheduled to be held in Vietnam in October, and U.S Secretary of Defence, Robert Gates is likely to attend.
DPM Teo, ASEAN defence ministers sign declaration to enhance peace & security [Channel News Asia, 11 May 2010]
ASEAN+8- A Recipe for new regional Architecture [East Asia Forum, 8 May 2010]