Establishing ASEAN’s cooperation fund for COVID-19 response
15/04/2020 10:05 AM
On the morning of April 14, 2020, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc - ASEAN Chairman chaired the Special ASEAN Summit on COVID-19 in online format with the full attendance of leaders of 10 member countries. At the Conference, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc welcomed the nations’ support for Vietnam's initiatives, including: Establishing ASEAN’s cooperation fund for COVID-19 response, setting up a medical supply stockpile to meet urgent requirements, organizing online drills on response to epidemics, building a common response process of ASEAN in health emergencies, and establishing a special working group of senior ASEAN information officials to combat fake news.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc - ASEAN Chairman hosted the ASEAN COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund via online platform. Source: VGP
Giving the opening speech at the Summit, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc claimed that the summit is meaningful in the context of the dangerous COVID-19 epidemic spreading across the region and globally. The epidemic has negatively affected the lives of people, socio-economic, especially the service sector accounting for 30% of ASEAN's GDP, creating challenges for the stability and social security. However, it was during this period that the ASEAN Community came together in solidarity to overcome difficulties expressed in the ASEAN Chairman's Statement on the overall response to the COVID-19 epidemic dated February 14, 2020; strengthen cooperation on health, defense, economy and tourism; share and provide basic supplies, medical equipment to assist people. ASEAN's efforts have brought encouraging results, keeping the epidemic under control. The number of infections among 650 million ASEAN people is only about 15,000, which has so far been much smaller and has grown at a much slower pace than the global average.
The conference demonstrated the highest level of political commitment of ASEAN to solidarity and cooperation in the bloc, as well as with its partners, affirming this as the power to help ASEAN repel the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to control and prevent the spread of the disease, especially cross-border transmission, the leaders said that ASEAN needs to focus on implementing measures to minimize the socio-economic impacts caused by the epidemic. In addition, close coordination among countries is needed to protect citizens, providing social security services and support packages and maintaining supply chain linkages.
The ASEAN leaders also discussed the development of a post-epidemic economic recovery plan, embracing the enhancement of intra-bloc trade, the acceleration of economic cooperation agreements under negotiation, the deployment of economic stimulus measures, and the improvement of response-ability to external shocks.
Leaders of ASEAN countries highly appreciated Vietnam in promptly supporting countries to control the epidemic. Source: VGP
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc welcomed the support of Vietnam's proposals such as: Establishing ASEAN’s cooperation fund for COVID-19 response, setting up a medical supply stockpile to meet urgent requirements, organizing online drills on response to epidemics, building a common response process of ASEAN in health emergencies, and establishing a special working group of senior ASEAN information officials to combat fake news.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc affirmed that Vietnam will continue to support the epidemic-hit countries, maintaining normal economic activities and providing basic necessities, including food, at the request of countries.
At the same time, he emphasized that ASEAN should coordinate to ensure safety and support citizens affected by COVID-19, in addition to taking joint steps to mitigate and overcome the negative impacts of the disease on socio-economic development, designing plans and putting forward measures for economic recovery after the epidemic, such as sharing lessons of experience and resuming connectivity, tourism reconstruction, as well as and business and social activities.
At the end of the Conference, the leaders highly appreciated Viet Nam’s timely support in the disease prevention and control. They adopted a declaration of the Special ASEAN Summit on COVID-19.
This afternoon, Prime Minister will continue to preside over the Special ASEAN+3 Summit on the same issue.
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