Asean defense chiefs approve DND’s plan to establish cyber security group

Amid the increasing threat in the cyber security, defense chiefs of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) and other countries have approved the proposal of Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin to establish a group to address cyber security challenges.

The concept paper on the establishment of the cyber security working group was adopted during the Asean Defense Ministers Meet (ADMM) in Vientiane, Laos on Wednesday.

"By leveraging individual Asean-Plus capabilities, the working group will promote practical cooperation in addressing cyber security challenges," said Gazmin in a statement issued by the Department of National Defense (DND).

The proposal, first made last year by Gazmin during the ADMM Retreat in Malaysia, was thoroughly processed within the Asean, culminating in the adoption of the concept paper.

The Philippines and New Zealand will co-chair the working group from 2017-2020, the DND said.

Several Philippine government websites have been attacked by hackers during the previous months.

During the meet, Gazmin forwarded another proposal which hopefully would once more be positively considered by the ADMM: the inclusion of coastguards and other maritime forces in the Code of Unplanned Encounters at Sea (CUES) which currently covers only naval forces.

Relatedly, the ministers agreed as indicated in their issued Joint Declaration that they shall commence work on crafting protocols of interaction to avoid misunderstanding and prevent undesirable incidents in the West Philippine Sea.

The defense ministers were also one in reiterating the importance of expeditiously working towards an early conclusion of the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea.

Gazmin took the meet as an opportunity to express his gratitude to his counterparts whom he worked with since 2010.

He urged his fellow defense ministers to extend the same warm welcome to his successor. Gazmin expressed confidence that the same professional interaction and personal ties will also be developed with the next defense minister.

Source: Tribune