The Department of National Defense (DND) over the weekend said the proposal of Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin to establish a cyber security group was approved by a panel of defense ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean).
Gazmin’s concept paper that proposed the establishment of the cyber security group was adopted during the Asean Defense Ministers Meeting held on May 25 at Vientiane, Laos.
By leveraging individual ASEAN-Plus capabilities, the working group will promote practical cooperation in addressing cyber security challenges, the DND said in a statement.
The proposal, introduced by Gazmin during an ADMM Retreat in Malaysia, underwent deliberations and eventually culminated in the adoption of the concept paper. The Philippines and New Zealand will co-chair the cyber security working group from 2017 to 2020.
Meanwhile, the Philippines has forwarded another proposal which hopefully would also be considered by the ADMM.
The proposal involves the inclusion of coastguards and other maritime forces in the Code of Unplanned Encounters at Sea which currently covers only naval forces.
Asean defense ministers also agreed to start crafting the protocols of interaction to avoid misunderstanding and prevent undesirable incidents in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).
The ministers also reiterated the importance of expeditiously working for an early conclusion of the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea, the DND said.