HCMC – Vietnam, which is holding the ASEAN Chairmanship 2020, hosted a Special ASEAN+3 Summit on Covid-19 on April 14.
The web summit was attended by leaders of 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and its three partners: Japan, South Korea and China.
Chairing the summit, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc expressed serious concern over the spread of Covid-19, which the World Health Organization declared as a pandemic on March 11, and its negative effects on the wellbeing of the people and global socioeconomic development.
Phuc reaffirmed Vietnam and other ASEAN countries’ commitment and determination to remain united and act jointly and decisively to control the spread of the disease while mitigating its adverse impact on people’s livelihoods, society and the global economy.
The Vietnamese prime minister noted that he appreciated the extensive measures undertaken by each ASEAN member state and the timely efforts by the ASEAN health sector, in collaboration with the ASEAN’s partners and the international community, to prevent, detect, control and respond to the spread of Covid-19 infections and address the disease’s severe and multifaceted challenges.
Phuc emphasized the critical importance of a coherent, multisectoral and multistakeholder approach in ensuring the ASEAN’s timely and effective response to the pandemic and called for further enhancement of a caring and sharing ASEAN community where the member states help each other during this challenging time.
After Phuc’s speech, the ASEAN+3 leaders discussed specific measures to promote cooperation in infection prevention and control initiatives, facilitating economic recovery and ensuring the sustainable development of the region over the long term.
They pledged to strengthen public health cooperation to contain the pandemic through the timely and transparent exchange of information, the sharing of experience and best practices in epidemiological research and development and the enhancement of the capacity of public health systems in ASEAN member states while protecting and ensuring the safety of public health workers.
All leaders agreed to intensify cooperation in the adequate provision of medicines and essential medical supplies and equipment, including diagnostic tools and personal protective equipment.
ASEAN+3 countries stressed their commitment to prioritize the wellbeing of their peoples while taking collective actions and policies that mitigate the economic and social impacts of the pandemic.
The leaders pledged to remain united and vigilant against Covid-19 and to work closely with the World Health Organization, the ASEAN’s partners and the international community to suppress the spread of the pandemic, protect people’s lives and livelihoods, maintain socioeconomic stability, sustain the region’s sustainable development and inclusive growth and leave no one behind.