The National Defense College of the Philippines (NDCP) attended the Track II Network of ASEAN Defence and Security Institutions (NADI) on “Strengthening Defence Cooperation in ASEAN Health Security” on 17-19 August 2021 via video teleconferencing. The Strategic Studies Center (SSC) of the National Defence Studies Institute (NDSI) in Thailand hosted the virtual workshop.
NADI is a platform for dialogue among think tanks and academic institutions in ASEAN countries specializing on defence and security issues. Owing to NADI’s Track II character, participants share their own personal views on current and emerging issues.
During the workshop, representatives stressed how the COVID-19 pandemic caused severe impacts on national economies, health care systems, and people’s livelihood. Attendees also highlighted how the pandemic posed challenges to the capacities and operations of military organizations.
NADI participants also exchanged ideas and best practices in order to strengthen their capacity and readiness in dealing with the current pandemic and future public health crises. Participants recommended that there should be a multi-sectoral response in ASEAN in order to prepare for and respond to pandemics. There is also a recognition that the pandemic is primarily a health crisis, where the leadership of the health sector is crucial.