The National Defense College of the Philippines (NDCP) participated in the Track II Network of ASEAN Defence and Security Institutions (NADI) Workshop, hosted by the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Singapore, from July 20 to 21, 2022.
The virtual NADI workshop, with the theme, “Strengthening Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) in the Region,” aimed to assess progress on existing CBMs, consider enhancements to these CBMs, and explore the potential for new CBMs in the ASEAN region.
NADI delegates from ASEAN member states’ defense institutions shared their respective country’s approach to regional CBMs in the context of the ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM) and ADMM-Plus, their assessments on the effectiveness of existing CBMs such as the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea (CUES) and Guidelines for Air Military Encounters (GAME), and their proposed outlook to promote confidence building among ASEAN defense institutions.
NDCP’s Executive Vice President, Mr Aldrin Cuña, shared his views on the major power competition in the Asia Pacific between China and the United States, and how ASEAN must adapt to the changing times, as the strategic milieu of the 1990s was different from the geopolitical context of 2022.
He then discussed important initiatives on CBMs for NADI to consider: review and re-assess the current CBMs; encourage cross-sectoral synergies between the ADMM and the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), principally in the context of discussing the ADMM’s CBMs in the defense-oriented platforms of the ARF; and promote continuation of the existing CBMs such as educational visits and exchanges to stimulate confidence and trust among ASEAN member states.
Mr Cuña also shared the College’s efforts to promote confidence in the region by inviting foreign military officers to study at NDCP under the ambit of the ADMM-Wide Education and Training Exchanges (AETE).
NADI is an informal, Track II grouping of defense and security organizations in Southeast Asia where participants freely discuss relevant issues in their own personal capacity. Participants in NADI activities are encouraged to talk about ideas and proposals that may be deemed too sensitive to be discussed in official, Track I meetings (among governments).
By: Manmar Costillas Francisco