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7th SEOUL DEFENCE DIALOGUE 2018 (SDD2018) – Sustainable Peace from Conflict to Cooperation

Westin Chosun Hotel, Seoul , Republic of Korea (ROK)
12-14 September 2018

The Ministry of National Defense, ROK  hosted the 7th  Seoul Defense Dialogue  2018(SDD2018) from September 12th  to 14th  at Westin Chosun Hotel, Seoul. The Seoul Defense Dialogue was formed in 2012 to engage in multilateral security cooperation and confidence building in the Asia-Pacific region. It is reported to be growing in both quantity and quality year after year, with an increasing number of participating nations and diverse agendas.


This year's SDD2018 saw the largest number of participating nations since it was launched in 2012. A total of  52 parties (48 countries and 4 international organisations) from Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa attended the event. In particular, countries including the United Kingdom, UAE, and Uzbekistan sent vice ministerial level delegation for the SDD2018  for the first  time. In 2017, a total of 43 parties (40 countries and 3 international organisations) participated in SDD2017.

The Opening Address for SDD2018 was delivered by Minister of National Defense, Mr.Song Young-moo whilst the Keynote Speaker was by the National Security Office Director, Mr. Chung Eui-yong.


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Fig 1: Heads of Delegations at the SDD2018

Under the overarching   theme, Sustainable Peace: From Conflict to Cooperation, the SDD2018 delved in various global security issues including maritime security, cyber security and the issues of the  Korean Peninsula. This year's Special Sessions  expanded into four sessions to promote robust discussion on various agendas namely; defense cooperation and energy security, international peacekeeping activities, prevention of violent extremism, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

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Fig 2: Chief Secretary, Ministry of Defence, Dato Halimi, 2nd from right.

The SDD2018 invited the Chief Secretary, Ministry of Defence, Malaysia, Dato Halimi Abd Manaf  and Policy Division staff, Puan Arma Idayu as guests. The SDD2018 hosted  vice-ministerial level meetings with ASEAN member states and Central Asian countries to actively support ROK government's New Southern and New Northern Policy.  These meetings were aimed to strengthen cooperation with ASEAN, the centre of ROK’S New Southern Policy. Throughout the event, the ROK shared its history of the defense industry and development experience and discussed defense industry cooperation models involving ASEAN member states.

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Fig 3: Dato Halimi, 5th from left.

Capt Martin from MIMA was invited as speaker for Special Session II – Defence Cooperation in International Peacekeeping Activities.

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Fig 4: Capt Martin presenting at Special Session II

In his presentation, Capt.Martin elaborated that Malaysia has been part of peacekeeping activities since 1960 and continues her role in global peace and security. To date, Malaysian military and police have served in every continent except the Americas. Capt.Martin served in United Nations (UN) field missions and in the UN Headquarters, New York as Africa Division 2 (West Africa) Planning Team Leader.

He noted that peace activities were not only conducted under the auspices of the UN but also with the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) in Bosnia, where Malaysia paid for her own contingents. Malaysia has also been involved as peace facilitator in Southern Thailand and Mindanao, Philipines.

He proposed that East Asia, especially South Korea, through the New Southern Policy, could support South East Asia peace activities. He took the model of European Union (EU)supporting African Union (AU)missions. He went to explain on the ASEAN Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) mechanism, the ASEAN Military Ready Group (AMRG). He believes AMRG has the potential to be mobilised as a PKO as militaries are actually Green Helmets to Blue Helmets, sharing  the same attributes and value system. Since ASEAN HADR goes under the One ASEAN One Response,  mobilisation of the AMRG for an ASEAN response for PKO could be a possibility. The only difference between PKO and HADR is the reimbursements from the UN. These financial issues could be worked out with East Asia support, looking at the EU-AU model.

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Friday, 14 December 2018 09:41

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