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|At the Special ASEAN Summit on COVID-19 (Photo: VNA)|
The meetings will be chaired by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Chairman of ASEAN and of ASEAN+3.
Leaders of the 10-nation bloc and their partners from the three ASEAN partners, namely China, the Republic of Korea, and Japan, will discuss specific measures and initiatives to further strengthen cooperation in the fight against the pandemic to ensure dynamic and sustainable development in the region in the long run.
They are expected to adopt a joint statement of the ASEAN Summit and another of the ASEAN+3 Special Summit on COVID-19 response, in which they will affirm their strong commitment to and determination in preventing and eliminating the risk of the pandemic which is threatening people's lives, and in stabilising the socio-economic situation in each member state.
In his recent article on ASEAN’s cooperation to combat the pandemic, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh said based on exchanges and experiences to date, ASEAN and its partners should focus on a number of measures in responding to and repelling COVID-19.
Primarily is mustering common resources, particularly the region’s medical equipment stock to meet emergency needs; establish a cooperation fund for countering the pandemic while utilising existing resources and assistance from partners, including the United Nations (UN) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
Secondly, raising the effectiveness of coordinating policies and actions on the basis of a common framework, focusing on building an ASEAN common approach in pandemic-related situations and, in the immediate future, organising online drills on pandemic response between countries.
Thirdly, understanding that battling the pandemic must go hand in hand with battling economic recession and social instabilities, in which the people are placed at the heart. No country should be left alone and no one should be left behind in this battle.
Fourthly, developing a COVID-19 exit strategy in each country and forge regional coordination for an early suppression of the pandemic and bringing countries’ socio-economic activities back to their normal and stable state. And
Fifthly, upholding and adhering to the common values on free trade, investment facilitation, avoiding the disruption of supply chains; quickly normalising trade activities and cross-border transport once the pandemic is put under control, so that all engines are utilised for inclusive and sustainable socio-economic recovery and development in the region.