Better handling of crisis in ASEAN eyed
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
REPRESENTATIVES of ASEAN countries are here for a four-day meeting to “reduce vulnerability to miscalculations, and avoid misunderstanding” in handling crisis or emergency particularly maritime security.
Members of the “Second Ad-Hoc Working Group Meeting on Establishing a Direct Communications Link (DCL) in the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM) Process” assembled yesterday at The Centrepoint Hotel, Gadong.
Abu Sufian Hj Ali, the Deputy Permanent Secretary (Defence Policy and Development) at the Ministry of Defence (MinDef), officiated the meeting.
The meeting is a follow-up from the first ad-hoc working group meeting which laid the initial foundation on the development phase on establishing a DCL in the ADMM.
Abu Sufian said in his welcome remarks that it has been increasingly urgent for the ASEAN countries to implement DCL.
“It is a key confidence and security building measures that is intended to reduce vulnerability to miscalculations, and avoid misunderstanding and undesirable incidents at sea.”
As discussed in the prior meeting, the DCL initiative has been divided into three phases, with the first phase still undergoing implementation.
The continuation of discussions by the Working Group will finalise the arrangements for the first phase and will pave the path for the subsequent phases.
A MinDef statement said: “Faced with such a complex maritime domain, the DCL initiative was aimed at providing a permanent, rapid, reliable and confidential means by which any two ASEAN defence ministers may communicate with each other to arrive at mutual decisions in handling crisis or emergency situations, in particular related to maritime security.”
“The goal of the initiative would not be to resolve underlying political issues, but to effectively manage and contain tensions in the event of a possible military encounter, to foster de-escalation, and to provide channel for initial quick reaction and assistance in emergency situations,” the statement stressed.
Experts in the field of communications and technology in the defence arena from all ten member states of the regional bloc as well as the ASEAN Secretariat were in attendance at the meeting to continue discussions on the technical, technological and security parameters of the DCL system.
The Brunei Times