International defence leaders agree on common principles to deal with security challenges

SINGAPORE - Minister for Defence Ng Eng Hen hosted 21 visiting ministers and their representatives to a luncheon today where they had a wide-ranging discussion on key security challenges facing the region.

Among the topics were the ongoing maritime disputes, overlapping territorial claims in the South and East China Seas, the situation on the Korean Peninsula and the ongoing developments in Ukraine.

The ministers acknowledged that these challenges would require the commitment of all parties concerned to resolve their differences in a peaceful manner.

They agreed that a country's actions and behaviour should be underpinned by a set of established principles, norms and international law, and recognised the need for parties concerned to take concrete steps to de-escalate current tensions to maintain peace and stability.

Also emphasised was the importance of open and inclusive regional frameworks like the Asean Defence Ministers' Meeting-Plus, which promotes dialogue and build strategic trust through practical cooperation.

The ongoing 13th Shangri-La Dialogue was acknowledged by the ministers as a key platform in generating positive and frank discussions on topical security issues amongst countries from within and outside the region.