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|RoK Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha at the 10th Mekong-RoK Foreign Ministers' Meeting (Source: VNA)|
Seoul – Five Mekong sub-region nations and the Republic of Korea (RoK), on September 29, called for joint efforts to restore and promote global trade plagued by the coronavirus pandemic and to secure fair and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.
The pledge was made in a co-chairs statement adopted after the 10th RoK-Mekong foreign ministers' meeting held via a video link. The Mekong River nations consist of Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos and Thailand.
"The Ministers ... reaffirmed their commitment to working together to restore and maintain interconnectedness by facilitating international trade and essential movement of people, goods and services across borders," the statement released by the RoK foreign ministry read as quoted by the RoK’s Yonhap News Agency.
They also reiterated their support for "vaccine multilateralism and the goal of ensuring affordable, fair and equitable access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines for all," according to the statement.
The ministers also expressed concern about trade protectionism and tensions and called for "a transparent, free, open and rules-based multilateral trading system led by the WTO (World Trade Organization)."
Regarding Korean peninsula's peace process, they reiterated their support for efforts toward denuclearisation and building permanent peace and agreed that peace and prosperity on the peninsula can only be achieved through continued dialogue.
The 10th RoK-Mekong foreign ministers' meeting took place on September 28 and was co-hosted by Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh and RoK Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha.
The RoK and the five Southeast Asian nations held their first Foreign Ministers’ meeting in 2011.