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ASEAN FMs reaffirm multilateral cooperation, Covid-19 response

Pham Binh Minh

Hanoi, Sep 13 (UITV/IANS) - The 53rd Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Foreign Ministers' Meeting has concluded, with the ministers reaffirming multilateral cooperation and collective collaboration in response to the Covid-19 pandemic,

The announcement was made by Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh said on Saturday, Xinhuaa news agency.

During the meetings, the 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, the ASEAN countries and their partners also reaffirmed their commitments to support multilateral cooperation while continuing to promote effective cooperation in response to emerging challenges, including the fight against the pandemic and full recovery, he told a press briefing.

Regarding the bloc's response to the ongoing health crisis, 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 centre 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, he said, adding that the ministers welcomed the initial contributions by the member 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 the pandemic, including the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework to be submitted to the 37th ASEAN Summit set in November.

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