Member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations have reached several key cooperation agreements to strengthen regional defense capabilities, including a surveillance and intelligence-sharing initiative and a multilateral aircraft encounter guideline, during a meeting of their defense ministers in Singapore last week. (Photo courtesy of Asean)

Asean Defense Ministers Agree on Intelligence-Sharing Initiative

OCTOBER 22, 2018

Jakarta. Member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations have reached several key cooperation agreements to strengthen regional defense capabilities, including a surveillance and intelligence-sharing initiative and a multilateral aircraft encounter guideline, during a meeting of their defense ministers in Singapore last week.

The agreements form part of Asean's focus this year to address emerging security challenges in the region. This includes the establishment of a network of defense experts on matters related to chemical, biological and radiological threats, according to a statement Singapore's Ministry of Defense issued last week.

The regional bloc adopted the "Our Eyes" initiative, initiated by Indonesian Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu following the five-month siege of Marawi City in the southern Philippines.

The member states agreed on a so-called "3R" concept, which stands for resilience, response and recovery, to improve engagement and understanding of counterterrorism efforts.

"I hope this concept can be discussed more comprehensively to strengthen other initiatives in Asean and its subregions," Ryamizard said, as quoted by state-run news agency Antara.

During the meeting, Asean member states also adopted guidelines to "manage unexpected encounters between military aircraft, thereby improving safety and reducing the risk of miscalculations."

The guidelines are the first of their kind in a multilateral setting, according to the statement.

Asean member states are scheduled to hold their first joint maritime exercises with China this week, and plan to hold similar training with the United States next year, as laid out in a joint declaration issued after Friday's meeting.

SHARE