COVID 19 prevention: ASEAN, EU boosts cooperation

ASEAN and EU pledged their determination to strengthen cooperation in combating the ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that is spreading throughout the globe, at a ministerial teleconference on March 20.
March 22, 2020 | 14:09

COVID 19 prevention: ASEAN, EU boosts cooperation
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh of Vietnam, in his capacity as ASEAN 2020 Chair, participates in the conference

The two sides agreed to boost the sharing of information, experience, and policy coordination, especially in disease diagnosis, prevention and treatment, as well as in vaccine research and development.

They consented to greater efforts to minimize the socio-economic impact of the epidemic on countries, and to maintain trade and investment, taking into account long-term economic restoration measures.

Vice President of the European Commission, EU High Representative for Foreign Policy and Security, Josep Borrell, acknowledged ASEAN's efforts and achievements in coronavirus prevention, while recommending ASEAN countries facilitate the repatriation of EU travelers stranded in Southeast Asia. In turn, ASEAN countries proposed that the EU ensure medical services to be provided for ASEAN citizens residing in the continent.

Singapore Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan stressed the need to raise the capacity of countries’ public health system so as to ease pressure on intensive care centres.

In his capacity as ASEAN 2020 Chair, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh of Vietnam informed the participants about ASEAN’s epidemic containment efforts, saying ASEAN countries have adopted a host of synchronous measures, including sharing information, experience, technical assistance, and kick-starting regional medical emergency response mechanisms within ASEAN as well as between the bloc and its partners.

ASEAN has shown its political determination at the highest level to combat the epidemic by issuing the ASEAN Chair’s Statement and ministerial-level statements on the fight, said Minh, adding that Vietnam also convened a meeting of the ASEAN Connectivity Coordinating Council to coordinate the bloc’s efforts.

COVID 19 prevention: ASEAN, EU boosts cooperation

Foreign Minister MInh makes a number of proposals aimed at boosting the fight against the novel coronavirus

He affirmed that ASEAN’s concerted efforts have paid off, with the coronavirus death rate rather low compared to other regions in the word.

ASEAN will continue to promote concrete and practical actions, enhance exchanges and coordination at all levels and with its partners in this regard in the time to come, Minh affirmed.

The Vietnamese Foreign Minister asked the EU to provide technical assistance, increase scientific research cooperation in disease control and treatment in order to minimize the socio-economic impact of the epidemic, while ensuring the rights and equal treatment for ASEAN citizens in the EU.

He also reiterated Vietnam’s continued resolve in working closely with ASEAN countries, ASEAN partners, the World Health Organization and the international community, in order to combat the disease, for the sake of a peaceful life of people and stable development of all nations.

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