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ASEAN Leaders’ Meeting issues Chairman’s Statement

The Chairman’s Statement on the ASEAN Leaders’ Meeting was issued at the end of the gathering in Jakarta, Indonesia, on April 24.

In the statement, ASEAN leaders expressed their commitment to support the timely realisation of Brunei Darussalam’s Priority Economic Deliverables (PEDs) under the ASEAN Economic Community Pillar, which are divided into three strategic thrusts of Recovery, Digitalisation, and Sustainability.

They appreciated the continued efforts to further strengthen the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community Pillar and its Sectoral Bodies’ agendas towards ASEAN Community building, to ensure ASEAN will be more coordinated, resilient and prepared for the future.

Regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, ASEAN leaders reiterated their commitment to implement the Implementation Plan of the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework in a timely manner, and welcomed the decision to utilise the COVID-19 ASEAN Response Fund to procure vaccines for the people of ASEAN as soon as possible.

ASEAN leaders agreed to encourage the expeditious conclusion of the ASEAN Travel Corridor Arrangement Framework (ATCAF), as well as the early operationalisation of the ASEAN Regional Reserve of Medical Supplies for Public Health Emergencies, and underscored the importance of establishing the ASEAN Centre for Public Health Emergencies and Emerging Diseases in a timely manner.

The statement also mentioned the situation in Myanmar, expressing deep concern of ASEAN leaders on reports of fatalities and escalation of violence, and reiterating that the political stability in ASEAN member states is essential to achieving a peaceful, stable and prosperous ASEAN Community.

ASEAN leaders acknowledged the bloc’s positive and constructive role in facilitating a peaceful solution in the interest and livelihoods of the people of Myanmar.

They agreed to the “Five-Point Consensus” attached to this Chairman’s Statement on the situation in the country, which demands an immediate cessation of violence in Myanmar and all parties shall exercise utmost restraint.

The Five Point of Consensus underlined the need to carry out constructive dialogue among all parties to seek a peaceful solution in the interests of the people.

A special envoy of the ASEAN Chair shall facilitate mediation of the dialogue process, with the assistance of the Secretary-General of ASEAN, and ASEAN shall provide humanitarian assistance through the AHA Centre, the consensus said.

ASEAN leaders also underscored the importance of Myanmar’s continued efforts in addressing the situation in the Rakhine State, including commencing the repatriation process, in a voluntary, safe and dignified manner in accordance with its bilateral agreements with Bangladesh.

Regarding foreign relations, ASEAN leaders agreed to instructed the ASEAN Foreign Ministers to hold their meetings with the People’s Republic of China and the US as soon as possible, prior to the 54th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, and agreed with the ASEAN Secretariat’s recommendation for the group to accept the UK’s application for Dialogue Partnership and tasked the ASEAN Foreign Ministers to undertake the appropriate process to facilitate the UK to become a Dialogue Partner by the 54th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting/Post Ministerial Conferences (54th AMM/PMC)./.