SINGAPORE, The Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea (CUES) is seeing very good progress, said Singapore Defence Minister Dr Ng Eng Hen.
In an interview with selected media Wednesday on the sidelines of the Singapore Airshow, Ng said he was optimistic there would be an agreement on CUES that could be put to the ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting (ADMM) and ADMM-Plus in October this year.
This year marks Singapore's chairmanship of ASEAN, the ADMM and the ADMM-Plus which comprises 18 countries, namely the 10 ASEAN countries as well as Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Russia and the United States.
The defence fraternity had lauded and described CUES as a practical measure mooted by Singapore aimed at reducing the risk of miscalculation at both sea and air.
Some had also cautioned that without the measure, tragedy could be on the horizon.
The operationalisation of the Joint Statement on the Application of CUES in the South China Sea was adopted on Sept 7, 2016.
Ng said CUE in the air was no less important than at sea.
There was unanimity in ASEAN as well. It is something we can work towards and we should put it to (ADMM) Plus 8, he said.
Ng noted that it is not an easy task to get 18 countries to agree on both CUE at sea and in the air as the aerial operations of the countries spanned almost throughout the world.
It is a significant challenge to Singapore, he said.
However, Ng said, Singapore was very happy as it got strong support from other ASEAN member countries which hope to have a consensus in October.
Following the ADMM Retreat this month, Singapore will host the formal ADMM and the ADMM-Plus in October.
This is the second time that Singapore is chairing the ADMM since its establishment in 2006.
Ng had on Tuesday chaired the ADMM Retreat which discussed the role of ADMM and ADMM-Plus in the regional security architecture
Source: NAM News Network