Military intelligence chiefs from the Asia-Pacific region will meet at a three-day conference, which is scheduled to start today at The Empire Hotel and Country Club, to discuss a more consolidated response to common security challenges.

The 8th Asia-Pacific Intelligence Chiefs Conference (APICC) is jointly organised by the Ministry of Defence through its Directorate of Intelligence and the United States Pacific Command (USPACOM). It is the first time the Sultanate is co-hosting APICC with the United States.

“APICC aims to promote open dialogue for military intelligence chiefs in the Asia-Pacific region to further build their networks and enhance cooperation towards a more consolidated response to common security challenges,” Brunei’s Ministry of Defence said in a statement. This year’s conference carries the theme “Pursuing Stability Through Defence Intelligence Cooperation”.

The conference will see the participation of heads and representatives of military intelligence organisations from 24 countries, namely, Australia, Bangladesh, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Canada, China, France, Indonesia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Maldives,’ Mongolia, Nepal, New Zealand, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Tonga, United Kingdom, United States and Vietnam.

Pehin Datu Pekerma Jaya Major General Dato Paduka Seri Mohd Tawih bin Abdullah, Commander of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF), is scheduled to be the guest of honour at the opening ceremony.

On the sidelines of APICC, various bilateral meetings between the participating countries will also take place, the statement said.

“Initiated in Kuala Lumpur by USPACOM in 2007, APICC serves as an annual regional avenue that gives military intelligence chiefs the opportunity to come together, interact closely and discuss cooperative matters within the intelligence field. Its continued relevance is a strong reflection of its importance in shaping a more robust cooperative dynamic in addressing the multi-faceted security challenges in the Asia-Pacific.”