The top military officers of the different Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states will be convening in Manila this week in a bid to strengthen security cooperation within the region.
In an article written by Francis T. Wakefield for Manila Bulletin, it was noted that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will be hosting the ASEAN Chiefs of Defense Forces Informal Meeting (ACDFIM) on May 17-19, which will be attended by top brass officers from 10 Southeast Asian countries.
According to AFP Public Affairs Office Chief Col. Edgard Arevalo, senior operations and intelligence officers will be coming to the country to discuss several prominent issues and mutual concerns during the proceedings.
“The ACDFIM and operations and intelligence meetings are annual events intended to provide an opportunity to discuss and assess in a very strategic, comprehensive, positive and productive manner all prominent issues and concerns of mutual interests,” he said; adding that the meetings will help in building-up the capacity and cooperation among ASEAN militaries.
“It encourages common perspectives and understanding for promoting and fostering strong relationships and security cooperation in the region. It will have high-level discussions on common concerns that were raised in the ASEAN Summit and Defense Ministers’ meetings,” Arevalo added.
The event will be led by AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Eduardo Año, in line with the ASEAN chairmanship currently held by the Philippines through Pres. Rodrigo Roa Duterte.
“Our hosting of these events is also timely in our hopes to cement our position in the ASEAN as a global partner and fully capable military, responsive to local and regional issues through consistent cooperation and innovation,” Año said; adding that the meeting will help resolve modern security challenges; including piracy and terrorism.