Defense Minister Rajnath Singh attended the ASEAN meeting this morning. This meeting of Defense Ministers of ASEAN countries (ADMM-Plus) was conducted through video conferencing. The meeting took place today at 6.30 am. ADMM Plus is an important forum involving 10 ASEAN member states and eight dialogue partners namely Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Russia and the United States. The meeting was hosted by the Brunei Ministry of Defense. Brunei is the chairman of the ASEAN grouping this year and will host all the meetings.
In this meeting, Defense Minister Rajnath Singh shared a virtual platform with his counterparts from China, Japan, Russia and the US Defense Secretary. Looking at the G-7, NATO meetings it will be interesting to see what other defense ministers say. The Chinese Defense Minister was also present in this meeting.
What did the Defense Minister say?
During this, Defense Minister Rajnath Singh said that first of all I would like to thank the ADMM Plus Forum for giving me the opportunity to express India's views and perspectives on the regional and international security environment. Collectively, the immediate challenge before us is - COVID-19, he said. The virus is changing rapidly and testing our response as we find new variants that are more infectious and potent. India is emerging from a second wave that has pushed our medical response to the limit.
During this, Rajnath Singh said that the devastating effect of the corona epidemic is still coming to the fore. The test, therefore, is to ensure that the world economy continues on the path of recovery and to ensure that the recovery leaves no one behind. I believe this is possible only when the entire humanity is vaccinated. During this, he said that Indian concepts of 'Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam' - 'the whole world is one family' and 'Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah' - 'May all be in peace' have never been more relevant. Today an approach that envisions the world as one family will encourage a shared vision.
Defense Minister Rajnath Singh said that the challenges of today's dynamic and interdependent world cannot be solved with outdated systems that were designed to deal with the tests of the past. He further said that India calls for a free, open and inclusive order in the Indo-Pacific based on respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of nations, peaceful settlement of disputes through dialogue and adherence to international rules and laws. India has strengthened its cooperative relations in the Indo-Pacific based on transforming attitudes and values to promote peace, stability and prosperity in the region.
The ADMM-Plus was held on 12 October 2010 in Hanoi, Vietnam, and last year marked a decade since its inception. At the same time, the 15th meeting of the Defense Ministers of ASEAN (ADMM) was called virtually.