HANOI, April 14 (Vietnam News/ANN) — The online ASEAN Special Summit and ASEAN+3 Special Summit on Covid-19 response takes place in Hà Nội on Tuesday, chaired by Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc, chairman of ASEAN and of ASEAN+3.
Leaders of the 10-nation bloc and their partners from three ASEAN partners, namely China, the Republic of Korea and Japan, discussed measures and initiatives to strengthen co-operation in the fight against the Covid-19 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 commitment to 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.
Addressing the opening ceremony, PM Phúc stressed the significance of the meeting with COVID-19 spreading across the region and the world.
All ASEAN member countries have strived to fight the pandemic which has harmed the lives of all citizens and socio-economic development, particularly the services sector which accounted for 30 per cent of the total GDP of ASEAN, threatening sustainability and social security, he said.
However, he noted that during this difficult time, the solidarity of the ASEAN Community has brightened, shouldering together to overcome difficulties.
This was demonstrated by the ASEAN Chairman's Statement on ASEAN Collective Response to the Outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019. Member countries have enhanced co-operation in health care, national defence, economy and tourism; and supported each other.
ASEAN’s efforts have brought encouraging results, putting the pandemic under control, he said. The number of COVID-19 cases in ASEAN stands at about 15,000 among more than 650 million citizens, lower than the global rate.
"This initial result makes us feel more confident but we should not be subjective and be more determined in actions in the spirit of cohesive and responsive,” he said.
The PM said he believed the meeting would put forward practical measures to overcome the COVID-19 challenge.
After the opening speech by PM Phúc and ASEAN leaders, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Phạm Bình Minh, also Chairman of the ASEAN Coordinating Council, delivered a report on ASEAN’s efforts in fighting COVID-19 and gave recommendations on future co-operation. — VNS