INDONESIA: On Tuesday (1 Aug), Indonesia, as the chair of ASEAN, held discussions with the ASEAN Defense Senior Official Meeting (ADSOM) and ADSOM-Plus countries to address the centrality of the region.
The meeting, which concluded on Thursday (3 Aug) at Hotel Borobudur, Jakarta, aimed to establish ASEAN as a safe and peaceful area.
“This way, we can become the epicenter of the growth envisioned by the government,” said Air Chief Marshal Donny Ermawan Taufanto, Secretary-General of the Ministry of Defense.
The discussions during the meeting also focused on the technical aspects of joint exercises among ADSOM and ADSOM-Plus countries.
“The ASEAN countries will conduct joint exercises with ADSOM-Plus countries,” Donny added.
“We advocate for ASEAN Centrality, where the voices of ASEAN nations hold the utmost importance in the region. This earns us great respect,” he emphasized.
Participating countries in ADSOM included Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Meanwhile, ADSOM-Plus consisted of Australia, the United States, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, and Russia.
The series of ADSOM and ADSOM-Plus meetings were led by Air Chief Marshal Donny Ermawan Taufanto in Jakarta on Wednesday.
“I am delighted and honored to lead this year’s ADSOM activities. In line with Indonesia’s role as the Chair of the ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting 2023 with the theme ‘Peace, Prosperity, and Security,’ I reiterate Indonesia’s commitment to promoting peace and security in the region and beyond.”
“This theme also reflects our collective commitment to foster stability and welfare throughout the region,” Donny stated.
Donny explained that the meeting showcased ASEAN’s support for the cooperation agreed upon during the ASEAN Defense Senior Officials’ Meeting Working Group (ADSOM WG).
“By working together and prioritizing ASEAN unity, I am optimistic that we can set aside our differences while safeguarding each nation’s national interests. Thus, we will be better prepared to face future challenges,” he said.
Earlier on Wednesday (2 Aug), Indonesian Minister of Defense, Prabowo Subianto, received a courtesy visit from ADSOM and ADSOM-Plus officials at the Ministry of Defense office in Jakarta.
Minister Prabowo expressed confidence that ASEAN member states and their dialogue partners possess the strength to safeguard peace in the region, given that the ASEAN-Plus countries share a common interest in maintaining stability and preventing prolonged conflicts.
He emphasized, “The key to a nation’s prosperity lies in cooperation and the ability to preserve peace. I am certain and optimistic that the strength of ASEAN can create peace.”
The delegation’s visit to Minister Prabowo was part of the defense officials’ activities during the ADSOM and ADSOM-Plus meetings in Jakarta.
The outcomes of the senior officials meeting will be further discussed and agreed upon during the ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM) 17th and ADMM-Plus 10th, scheduled to take place in Jakarta in November 2023.
“I highly appreciate your presence and support for this event. ADSOM and ADSOM-Plus are being held to prepare for the upcoming ADMM 17th and ADMM-Plus 10th,” Minister Prabowo expressed his gratitude to the delegation.
The ministerial-level meetings on defense sectors within ASEAN and ASEAN-Plus will be officially opened and led by the Indonesian Minister of Defense, given Indonesia’s chairmanship of ASEAN this year.