05/08/2021 17:11 GMT+7 Email Print Like 0

US reaffirms support for ASEAN’s central role

US Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken reaffirmed the US support for ASEAN’s central role and the group’s Outlook on the Indo-Pacific as part of the vision of the US for a free and open Indo-Pacific while addressing the ASEAN-US Foreign Ministers' Meeting on August 4.

At the meeting, Blinken and Foreign Ministers of ASEAN member countries discussed pressing international and regional challenges, including fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change, solutions to human resource development, and the situation in Myanmar.

Blinken emphasised the US’s commitment to supply more than 500 million doses of vaccines to the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI) for distributions to 92 low- and middle-income countries worldwide, as well as the African Union, through the COVAX (COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access) Facility.

He noted that the US has so far donated more than 23 million doses of vaccines and nearly 160 million USD to support ASEAN member countries to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Blinken announced that his country intends to contribute 500,000 USD to the ASEAN COVID-19 Response Fund to support vaccine procurement, and it will also continue to assist the ASEAN Secretariat in developing an ASEAN Public Health Emergency Coordination System.

He highlighted the importance of taking bold actions in the 2020s to address challenges related to the climate change crisis, and promote green recovery, emphasising the US’s support for the region to minimise economic losses caused by the pandemic.

Blinken also underlined the need to develop human resources in ASEAN, while  reaffirming his country’s consistent support for the next generation of ASEAN leaders, the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) Academic Fellowship at Fulbright University Vietnam, among other programmes./.
VNA/VNP