Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh at the ASEAN Leader’s Meeting (Photo: VNA)
Sharing concerns of other participants on the Myanmar situation and ASEAN’s role, Chinh affirmed that Vietnam, as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for 2020-2021 and the president for April, has worked to create favourable conditions for the ASEAN member nations to collaborate closely at UN forums in mobilising support for the bloc’s efforts in approaching and finding suitable solutions to the Myanmar issue.
At their meeting, ASEAN leaders focused on discussing ASEAN Community building, the bloc’s external relations, and issues of regional and international concerns.
They said facing many challenges to regional peace, stability and development, more than ever, ASEAN needs to push for solidarity and mutual assistance to overcome difficulties and sustain its centrality and position. Stepping up COVID-19 response and promoting comprehensive recovery are among the top priorities of the bloc at the moment.
The leaders agreed to continue effectively implementing pandemic-response initiatives passed last year, particularly completing and conducting a plan for employing the COVID-19 ASEAN Response Fund as soon as possible to buy vaccines and support recovery efforts.
They said they back the ASEAN Responses to Emergencies and Disasters (ASEAN SHIELD), an initiative of Brunei.
Participating nations also agreed ASEAN should further strengthening effective, practical, and balanced dialogues and cooperation with its partners based on its basic principles and ensuring its central role.
They supported proposals for increasing the bloc’s relations with China, Australia, the US, and the UK.
On the Myanmar situation, the leaders expressed their concern and said it is worsening, and held that it is necessary for ASEAN to promote its role and employ its existing mechanisms to assist the nation in line with the bloc’s spirit of solidarity and non-interference in internal affairs. Accordingly, ASEAN representatives will be sent to Myanmar to learn about the situation, contact with the sides involved, and propose ways and measures to promote dialogue and conciliation.
ASEAN member states agreed to continue boosting humanitarian assistance efforts to help Myanmar people via the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management (AHA)./.