Joint Statement - Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting

Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting

14 November 2019

Joint Statement

1. Defence Ministers Ron Mark and Dr Ng Eng Hen today conducted their third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting in Singapore.

2. Building on the Enhanced Partnership signed between both countries in May this year, this annual meeting reinforces Singapore and New Zealand’s mutual agreement to enhance defence ties in the face of common security challenges.

3. Dr Ng and Mr Mark reaffirmed the strong relationship between both defence establishments. There are annual dialogues across various levels of both defence ministries and across all three services of the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) and the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF). Since the last Defence Ministers’ Meeting, both armed forces have also successfully operationalised two new Working Groups, on Operations, and Professional Military Learning.

4. On behalf of Singapore, Dr Ng expressed his gratitude for the SAF’s training opportunities in NZ and for opportunities to train together with the NZDF. Dr Ng and Mr Mark acknowledged the longstanding collaboration between Singapore and New Zealand on overseas peace-support missions, including in Timor-Leste, Afghanistan and most recently in Iraq as part of the Defeat-ISIS coalition.

5. Dr Ng and Mr Mark conducted in-depth discussions on key international and regional security issues, such as countering terrorism and the importance of a rules-based international order. They also affirmed their ongoing commitment to the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM)-Plus framework and Five Power Defence Arrangements. Dr Ng also expressed support for NZ’s co-chairmanship of the ADMM-Plus Experts’ Working Group on Cyber Security with the Philippines. Mr Mark congratulated Singapore for successfully co-chairing the Experts’ Working Group on Maritime Security with the Republic of Korea.