Hishammuddin: Asean must purchase Covid-19 vaccine as a bloc


Malaysian Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein (left) and other officials from Malaysia and Asean countries during the with the 53rd Asean Day celebration at Wisma Putra on Friday (Aug 7) in Putrajaya. - Bernama

PUTRAJAYA, Aug 7 (Bernama): Asean must prioritise procurement of the Covid-19 vaccine as a bloc to increase its availability for the region, said Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.

In his remarks in conjunction with the 53rd Asean Day celebration at Wisma Putra here on Friday (Aug 7), Hishammuddin said that Malaysia had always maintained that it was imperative that the vaccine must be a global public good that was equitable, accessible and affordable for all.

He said that Asean in future must position itself as a hub for vaccine production or distribution to further drive costs down and accelerate ASEAN as a region for biotech innovation.

"As the world races to find a Covid-19 vaccine, Asean as a collective of over 650 million people must find ways to remain steadfast in our commitment to ensure ASEAN is prioritised in the development and distribution of the vaccine in future,” he said.

Moving forward, he said that Asean needed to prioritise vaccine diplomacy and realise that all the nations would not return to any sense of normalcy without the vaccine needed to prevent the Covid-19 pandemic.

"In every great crisis lies great opportunity. Whilst vaccine diplomacy is just one of them, Covid-19 must serve as a wake up call for us to leave our comfort zones and explore new areas of cooperation that we can take advantage of,” he said.

Also present at the celebration were Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri and International Trade and Industry Deputy Minister Datuk Lim Ban Hong.

Founded in 1967, Asean comprises of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Speaking to reporters after the event, Hishammuddin said that he had raised the need for the Covid-19 vaccine at the Asean level in his recent telephone conversations with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

He said that Asean member countries should use their advantages as one voice when faced with powers that have room to help the bloc.

"There is no point if the Covid-19 vaccine reaches Malaysia while neighbouring countries are still facing pandemic challenges,” he said. - Bernama

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 46
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
   

Next In Aseanplus News

Asean News Headlines as at 8pm on Sunday (April 11)
Indonesia reports 4,127 Covid-19 cases as total goes above 1.566 million; more death and injury from quake in East Java
Philippines eases restrictions in Metro Manila despite surge in Covid-19 infections; virus total now goes above 864,000
Dormitory resident among 20 new Covid-19 cases in Singapore; first such case in almost six weeks
Thai provinces fear virus surge out of Bangkok ahead of holidays; almost 1,000 Covid-19 cases reported - highest on record
Vietnam: Da Nang's Central city to develop an international finance centre
Trainee lawyer's bid to be called to Singapore Bar raises questions; judge calls for inquiry
Thailand: Chiang Mai follows Bangkok - closes nightspots for 7 days, clamps down on travellers from red-zone provinces
Indonesian president orders Java rescue efforts after quake kills several people
China's plans for Himalayan super dam stoke fears in India

Stories You'll Enjoy


Vouchers