Rajnath stresses need to address threats to order, maritime security, cyber-related crimes and terrorism
New Delhi, December 11, 2020
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh today stressed the need to address threats to order, maritime security, cyber-related crimes and terrorism.
Speaking at the 14th ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus organized online at Hanoi, Vietnam, Rajnath Singh underlined the key role of the ASEAN-centric forum in promoting dialogue and engagement towards a pluralistic, cooperative security order in Asia.
ADMM Plus is an annual meeting of Defence Ministers of 10 ASEAN countries and eight partner nations. This year marks the 10th year of inception of ADMM Plus forum. A special commemorative 10th Anniversary Celebration was conducted which was attended by Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.
Rajnath Singh was extended the privilege to address the celebratory session as a special gesture reflecting India’s recognition by the forum.
He highlighted the collective achievements of ADMM Plus in the past decade in advancing multilateral cooperation through strategic dialogue and practical security engagements. He complimented the achievements of the seven Expert Working Groups in sharing best practices in key domains including Maritime Security, Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief, Counter-terrorism and Peace Keeping Operations.
The Minister also addressed the thematic discussions during the ADMM plus meeting on the Regional and International Security Environment, presenting India’s perspective.
He emphasized that the Indo-Pacific region, in particular, confronts numerous traditional and non-traditional security threats. Rajnath Singh referred to the launch of the Indo-Pacific Ocean’s Initiative (IPOI) by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in last year’s East Asia Summit and stated that IPOI was an open global initiative which draws on existing regional cooperation architecture and mechanism.
He noted the commonality between India’s IPOI and ASEAN Outlook on Indo-Pacific, both being opportunities for cooperation. In his speech addressing the Defence Ministers of ASEAN member countries, USA, Russia, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand, he emphasized India’s call for an open and inclusive order in Indo-Pacific based upon respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity of nations.
He called for peaceful resolution of disputes through dialogue and adherence to International rules and laws. He also reiterated India’s support to freedom of navigation and over-flight for all in International waters under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
He underlined the importance of mutual trust and confidence based on restraint in activities and actions that may further complicate the situation in the region.
Terrorism remained a major scourge for the region and world. He reiterated that the structures that support and sustain terrorism continue to exist, including in India’s neighbourhood. He called for stronger commitment and need to strengthen the International mechanism to fight terrorism, jointly and vigorously.
Rajnath Singh thanked Vietnam for the excellent conduct of ASEAN related Defence events including ADMM Plus despite the restrictions imposed by COVID-19. He also welcomed Brunei Darussalam as new Chair and wished them well for successful conduct of events in 2021.