PHNOM PENH, June 22 (Xinhua) -- The 16th ASEAN Defense Ministers' Meeting (ADMM) kicked off here on Wednesday, with discussions focusing on key challenges and security in the region.
Chaired by Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Tea Banh, the meeting brought together defense ministers or representatives from all ASEAN (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations) member states.
Speaking in his opening speech, Banh said it was the first in-person meeting in over two years following the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Our presence today underlines our commitment with high responsibilities to maintain ASEAN's centrality, unity and cooperation for peace and security in the region," he said.
He said the meeting is convened at a time when the whole region is facing pressures arising from cross-border crime, terrorism, climate change, disasters and pandemics, among others.
"Our joint commitment (to address these issues) will lead our region towards sustainable peace, security and prosperity," he added.
ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.