Strengthening solidarity and cooperation to overcome challenges

Wednesday, 2020-04-15 11:16:59
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PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc chairing the Special ASEAN+3 Summit on Covi-19 (Photo: NDO)
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NDO - The Special Summits of ASEAN and ASEAN+3 (China, Japan and the Republic of Korea) on responding to COVID-19 epidemic took place on April 14 under the chair of Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, the ASEAN Chair for 2020.

The summits were held in the form of video conferences for the first time towards adapting to the current complicated state of the disease.

In the context that the whole world has been struggling to cope with the Covid-19 pandemic which has badly affected to the people’s health and life as well as the socio-economic development of the countries, the Special Summits of ASEAN and ASEAN+3 on responding to the epidemic further demonstrated the responsibility of ASEAN’s members and partners in joint efforts to overcome the global crisis. As an organisation that plays a central role in the region with over five decades of formation and development, the solidarity among ASEAN has been strengthened by challenges. It continues to carry out its mission of being a common home and a fulcrum for member countries to overcome challenges. ASEAN nations have always supported each other and greatly coordinated with their partners and international community during the fight against the epidemic.

At the Special ASEAN Summit on COVID-19, PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc emphasised that during difficult times due to the epidemic, ASEAN Community’s spirit of solidarity, mutual affection and support together has been rekindled. ASEAN leaders affirmed that solidarity is the strength to help the community win the pandemic. Recognising the unprecedented challenges faced by the Covid-19, ASEAN is committed o to giving top priority to the cooperation in controlling and preventing the spread of the disease, focusing on measures to minimise its negative impacts. ASEAN countries also agreed to develop cooperation plans to stabilise people's lives and facilitate socio-economic recovery after the epidemic is controlled.

At Special ASEAN+3 Summit on COVID-19 response, ASEAN leaders and three partner countries China, Japan and the Repulic of Korea emphasised the outcomes of ASEAN+3 cooperation in effective response to challenges related to economy, natural disasters and diseases, while affirming that they would continue to uphold the good tradition to join hands to overcome the difficult time caused by the current epidemic. Many initiatives and specific proposals were discussed to enhance the coordination in Covid-19 prevention and control, in order to ensure the people’s health and peaceful lives as well as ensure the flows of goods and services and economic cooperation, for the dynamic and sustainable development of the region in a long term.

The spirit of solidarity and cooperation has been strongly affirmed in the Declarations issued by the leaders of ASEAN and its partners following the Special Summits on responding to Covid-19. Accordingly, ASEAN and its partner countries have agreed a number of synchronous measures to maintain the cooperation and cohesion within ASEAN and ASEAN+3, helping ASEAN and the region overcome epidemic.

Chairing the Special Summits of ASEAN and ASEAN+3 on Covid-19 response, Vietnam has clearly demonstrated its role as the Chair of ASEAN 2020. Upholding the spirit of “cohesion and proactive adaptation”, the summits have boosted the consensus within ASEAN, contributed to consolidating the intra-regional solidarity, strengthened the mutual support, and improved the proactivity of the organisation amidst the new challenges and context. The successes in the organisation of ASEAN’s summits on Covid-19 response affirmed the policy of Vietnamese Party and State on accelerating proactive and active international integration, improving multilateral foreign affairs and contributing to shaping regional and international multilateral institutions in responding to non-traditional challenges like the current epidemic outbreak.

The Special Summits of ASEAN and ASEAN+3 on Covid-19 response were held successfully, demonstrating the strength of ASEAN's political commitment on enhancing intra-regional solidarity and its cooperation with its partners and the international community to overcome the current period with many difficulties and challenges caused by the epidemic.