12th JDC Brunei Darussalam - UK Convened to Further Strenghthen Defence Cooperation
By Nor Hasimah Mohd Nor
UNITED KINGDOM, Thursday 14 June 2012 - The Ministry of Defence of Brunei Darussalam and the Ministry of Defence of the United Kingdom conducted its 12th JDC meeting at the Ministry of Defence, Whitehall, United Kingdom to further identify areas of defence cooperation that could further enhance and strengthen the existing defence relations between both countries. The meeting was co-chaired by Mr. Steve McCarthy, Director International Security Policy, Ministry of Defence, United Kingdom and Mohd Sahrip bin Othman, Deputy Permanent Secretary (Defence Policy and Development), Ministry of Defence Brunei Darussalam. Also in attendance were the defence and military officials from both countries.
During the meeting, both sides discussed issues pertaining to courses, trainings and other bilateral defence cooperation matters including on how both countries could further enhance interactions between the Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF) and the British Brunei Garrison in Seria. Both sides also exchanged views on strategic issues amongst which include the restructuring policy of the UK Armed Forces, the current security situation in Libya and Afghanistan and the importance of Southeast Asia to the UK, by the UK side. While on the Brunei Darussalam’s side it presented on current modernisation programme in RBAF, an update on RBAF involvement in peacekeeping missions both in the International Monitoring Team (IMT) in Mindanao and in the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) and an overview on the Brunei-ASEAN chairmanship 2013.
As part of the programmes arranged by the UK side, the Brunei delegation had the opportunity to visit the Imperial War Museum in Central London and the RAF Club at Piccadily. The delegation is also scheduled to visit the United Kingdom’s military SFA/LSA estate in Woolwich. During their stay in the country, the delegation will also have the opportunity to observe the rare occasion of the Trooping of the Colour (House Guards) and the Queens Flypast held in conjunction with Her Majesty the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebration in the United Kingdom. The delegation is scheduled to leave the United Kingdom on 17 June 2012.
The Joint Defence Commission between Brunei Darussalam and the United Kingdom was established through the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the Establishment of Joint Commission for Defence Cooperation signed on the 31st December 2002. The MoU on JDC is a mechanism allowing senior defence officials from both countries to hold in-depth discussions on bilateral cooperation pertaining to defence, trainings, cooperative initiatives and exchange of views on current strategic issues of mutual concern. The next Joint Defence Commission Meeting will be held in Brunei Darussalam in 2013.