Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen arrived in Laos yesterday for top-level talks with his regional counterparts at the 10th Asean Defence Ministers' Meeting (ADMM).
Dr Ng said in a Facebook post that this year's summit will deal with "security challenges that threaten our collective well-being - terrorism, instability in the Korean Peninsula, disputes in the South and East China Seas".
At this year's platform, which is being held in Vientiane until Friday, defence leaders will also discuss the roles of the Asean Centre of Military Medicine, which was opened in Bangkok last month.
The centre will promote cooperation in medical services among Asean militaries, such as developing joint medical response plans and accessing medical needs in crisis situations.
The ADMM, first held in Kuala Lumpur in 2006, has been key to facilitating dialogue between defence ministers and practical cooperation between the armed forces of Asean countries, such as joint exercises.
Under the ADMM, a direct communications link between the 10 Asean countries is also being implemented. This hotline will be used for quick responses to emergency situations.
Noting the importance of the ADMM in his Facebook post, Dr Ng said: "Together, we can more effectively keep our people safe."