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ASEAN FMs reaffirm multilateral cooperation, pandemic response

The 53rd Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and related meetings concluded on Saturday, with the ministers reaffirming multilateral cooperation and collective collaboration in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh said on Saturday.

During the meetings, the ASEAN ministers continued to affirm their strong determination and commitment to fully and effectively implement the cooperation goals and priorities, Minh said, noting that they agreed to continue their efforts to promptly implement the master plan in the realization of the ASEAN Community Vision 2025.

Meanwhile, ministers of ASEAN countries and their partners reaffirmed their commitments to support multilateral cooperation while continuing to promote effective cooperation in response to emerging challenges, including the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and full recovery, he told a press briefing.

Regarding the bloc’s response to COVID-19, the ministers emphasized the importance of maintaining solidarity, unity, and the overall approach of the ASEAN Community in controlling infection and mitigating the impacts of the pandemic while effectively implementing the region’s key initiatives on pandemic response, Minh said.

The bloc agreed to soon establish a center on public health emergencies and emerging diseases with the support of its partners as well as create and operate the regional reserve of medical supplies for public health emergencies amid COVID-19 pandemic, Minh said, adding that the ministers welcomed the initial contributions by ASEAN countries and partners to the COVID-19 ASEAN Response Fund.

The Secretary-General of ASEAN Lim Jock Hoi, who attended the briefing virtually, also highlighted efforts of the member countries in response to COVID-19 pandemic, including the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework to be submitted to the 37th ASEAN Summit set for November.

The 53rd ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AFMM) and related meetings were held from Wednesday to Saturday via video conference under the chair of Vietnam. 

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