21/04/2020 09:33 GMT+7 Email Print Like 0

ASEAN and ASEAN+3 Special Summits focus on COVID-19 response

At the Special ASEAN and ASEAN+3 Summits on the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) response, chaired by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc as the Chairman of ASEAN in 2020, leaders together proposed measures and specific ideas to strengthen further cooperation in curbing the spread of the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) and ensuring dynamic and sustainable development in the region. 
Enhancing national and regional pandemic preparedness and response
 
The Special ASEAN Summit via video conference on COVID-19 with the participation of 10 ASEAN member countries has issued a declaration related to the COVID-19 response.

According to the declaration, the ASEAN member countries reaffirmed their determination to further strengthen public health cooperation measures to contain the pandemic and protect the people, including, through timely and transparent exchange of information on real time situation and pandemic response measures taken by member states, the sharing of experiences and best practices in epidemiological research and development, clinical treatment, joint research and development of vaccines and anti-viral medicines and enhancing the capacity for the public health systems of ASEAN member states while protecting and ensuring the safety of public health workers.


Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc as ASEAN Chair 2020 speaks at the opening
of the Special ASEAN Summit  via video conference on COVID-19 response. Photo: Thong Nhat/VNA



The Vietnamese Prime Minister chairs the Special ASEAN Summit via video conference. Photo: Thong Nhat/VNA


Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen speaks at the Special ASEAN Summit. Photo: Thong Nhat/VNA


Brunei's Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah delivers a speech at the Special ASEAN Summit. Photo: Thong Nhat/VNA


Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith speaks at the Special ASEAN Summit. Photo: Thong Nhat/VNA


Indonesian President Joko Widodo delivers a speech at the Special ASEAN Summit. Photo: Thong Nhat/VNA


Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin speaks at the Special ASEAN Summit. Photo: Thong Nhat/VNA


State Counsellor of Myanmar Aung San Suu Kyi speaks at the Special ASEAN Summit. Photo: Thong Nhat/VNA


President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte speaks at the Special ASEAN Summit. Photo: Thong Nhat/VNA


Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong speaks at the Special ASEAN Summit. Photo: Thong Nhat/VNA


Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha speaks at the Special ASEAN Summit. Photo: Thong Nhat/VNA

In addition, the member countries would intensify cooperation for adequate provision of medicines, essential medical supplies and equipment, including, but not limited to diagnostic tools, personal protective equipment etc. and encourage the development of regional reserves of medical supplies as well as utilizing relevant ASEAN reserve warehouses to support the needs of ASEAN member states in public health emergencies. 
The COVID-19 pandemic has proven that the theme “Cohesive and Responsive” that Vietnam has chosen for its ASEAN Chairmanship Year 2020 is timely and completely right. Efforts by Vietnam as ASEAN Chair in the past have reflected the spirit of the theme and that Vietnam has really turned words into specific actions. Joining hands in stamping out COVID-19 is the top priority of ASEAN. The way we are working together to tackle the pandemic will affirm the mettle and strength of the grouping. 

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc


They also agreed to bolster national and regional epidemic preparedness and response, including the possible setting up of a network of experts on public health emergencies for future needs, strengthening the capacity of existing ASEAN emergency response network for future public health emergencies and prioritize the well-being of our people in ASEAN’s collective fight against COVID-19, and provide appropriate assistance and support to the nationals of ASEAN member states affected by the pandemic in each other’s country or in third countries, as well as enhancing effective and transparent public communication involving multiple forms of media including timely updates of relevant government policies, public health and safety information, clarifications on misinformation, and efforts to reduce stigmatization and discrimination.

The ASEAN member states reaffirmed their commitment to take collective action and coordinate policies in mitigating the economic and social impact from the pandemic, safeguarding people’s well-being and maintaining socio-economic stability, including their commitment to open the ASEAN market for trade and investment, strengthening cooperation of the member countries and their coordination with partners.

ASEAN +3 nations unite to fight COVID-19

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc chaired the online Special ASEAN+3 Summit with China, Japan and the Republic of Korea (RoK) on the COVID-19 response, following the success of the Special ASEAN Summit on the same issue.

Attending the event were leaders of ASEAN member states, the RoK President, the Chinese Premier, the Japanese Prime Minister and the General Director of the World Health Organization. At the summit, the leaders issued a joint statement on response to COVID-19.

In the statement, ASEAN+3 (APT) member states have determined to strengthen the early warning system in the region for pandemics and other epidemic diseases as well as regular, timely, and transparent exchange of real-time information of the situation on the ground and measures taken by each country in combating COVID-19; sharing of experience and best practices, extending mutual technical support in the prevention, containment and control of transmission as well as clinical treatment of infected cases; support strong, collective and orchestrated response for control and treatment to harness synergies for effective curbing of COVID-19 measures that are relevant and appropriate to the severity and further evolution of the disease in member states and within the region.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc delivers a speech to open the online Special ASEAN+3 Summit
with China, Japan and the Republic of Korea (RoK) on the COVID-19 response. Photo: Thong Nhat/VNA



Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo speaks at the online Special ASEAN+3 Summit. Photo: Thong Nhat/VNA


South Korean President Moon Jae-in speaks at the online Special ASEAN+3 Summit. Photo: Thong Nhat/VNA


Chinese Premier Li Keqiang speaks at the online Special ASEAN+3 Summit. Photo: Thong Nhat/VNA

The nations agreed to enhance national and regional capacities to prepare for and respond to pandemics, including the protection of healthcare workers and other frontline personnel, and the provision of adequate medicines and medical supplies, especially diagnostic tools, personal protective equipment, medical equipment, by adhering to the objectives of efficacy, safety and accessibility. They also considered setting up an APT reserve of essential medical supplies that enables rapid response to emergency needs and encourage tapping existing regional emergency reserve facilities including the warehouses managed by the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management (AHA Centre), among others and further consider the utilization of the ASEAN Plus Three Emergency Rice Reserve (APTERR).

The countries encouraged mutual support and assistance between ASEAN and the Plus Three countries in the development of human resources and capacity for the public health sector, endeavored to ensure adequate financing to contain the pandemic and protect our peoples, including through the proposed establishment of the COVID-19 ASEAN Response Fund for public health emergencies, and enhanced cooperation to provide appropriate support and assistance to nationals of the APT countries, especially the most vulnerable, who stay, work, and study in each other’s countries, working towards the dignity, health, well-being, safety and fair and effective treatment of those affected by COVID-19 as well as facilitating the movement of people as appropriate.

The ASEAN+3 member countries reaffirmed commitments to keep markets open for trade and investment, and enhance cooperation among ASEAN Plus Three countries with a view to ensuring food security and to strengthen joint efforts toward post-pandemic recovery, stimulate economic development and financial resilience, restore growth, connectivity and tourism, maintain market stability, and prevent potential risks of economic recession.


By VNA/VNP

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