Informal ASEAN Ministerial Meeting: Vietnam, ASEAN cooperate to drive back pandemic

Wednesday, 2021-03-03 10:37:17
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Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh.
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NDO/VNA – Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh on March 2 led a Vietnamese delegation to attend a virtual Informal ASEAN Ministerial Meeting, during which he affirmed Vietnam, as an active and responsible member of the ASEAN Community, commits to working with other member states of the bloc in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

Vietnam will back and help the ASEAN Chair in 2021 to fulfill its tasks and speed up the building of the Community, he stated, stressing that boosting relations with partners and maintaining dialogues and cooperation bear important significance for the building process.

Deputy PM Minh noted that escalating violence and tensions, which have caused human losses in recent days in Myanmar, have affected peace and stability not only in Myanmar but also in the whole region.

He called on parties involved to restrain and avoid all violent activities, ensure safety for people, and organise peace dialogues to soon bring the situation back to normal.

The Vietnamese representative recommended that ASEAN coordinate closely, promote its role, effectively use existing cooperation mechanisms and tools, including coordinating with global organisations and mechanisms such as the United Nations, to help Myanmar soon stabilise its situation, for the interests of its people and nation, and for peace and stability in the region and for solidarity and prestige of ASEAN.

At the meetings, delegates discussed the progress of the implementation of the ASEAN Community Vision 2025, a plan to build an ASEAN Community Vision beyond 2025, and initiatives on pandemic response and post-pandemic recovery. They also touched upon ASEAN’s external relations, and regional and international issues of mutual concern.

They agreed to press on with efforts to build the ASEAN Community, respond to the COVID-19, and effectively carry out the post-pandemic recovery plan, including early realizing the ASEAN travel corridor initiative, using the COVID-19 ASEAN Response Fund to purchase vaccines for citizens, and putting the ASEAN Regional Reserve of Medical Supplies into operation.

ASEAN member states reached a consensus on expanding and deepening relations with partners so as to promote multilateralism and collective response to common challenges. They stressed the need for ASEAN to maintain solidarity and stance, and be ready to play its role in addressing common challenges in the regional and international situations.

Delegates also shared their concerns and viewpoints over recent developments in Myanmar, as well as ASEAN’s role in this issue.

Brunei – the ASEAN Chair in 2021 – then issued the ASEAN Chairman’s Statement on the outcomes of the meeting.