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Discuss ASEAN priorities

ASEAN priorities throughout the year and ways to strengthen the ASEAN community and centrality as well as the advancement of ASEAN’s comprehensive recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic were discussed at the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Retreat. The meeting was chaired by Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Erywan bin Pehin Datu Pekerma Jaya Haji Mohd. Yusof, Minister of Foreign Affairs II.

The meeting among others discussed the follow-up to the outcomes and decisions of the 37th ASEAN Summit and Related Summits, including the Mid-Term Review of the ASEAN Community Blueprints 2025, strengthening cross-pillar and cross-sectoral coordination in ASEAN and work towards the ASEAN Community Vision Post-2025.

During this retreat, the Minister reaffirmed the importance of ensuring fair, equitable and affordable access to safe and quality vaccines and their procurement for all people in ASEAN.

In this regard, the Minister agreed to utilise the COVID-19 ASEAN Response Fund in the procurement of vaccines, medical supplies and equipment for the people of ASEAN.

With the theme ‘We Care, We Prepare, We Prosper’, the Minister supported Brunei Darussalam’s priorities and deliverables which focuses on harnessing the caring nature of ASEAN to build a harmonious and resilient Community with the people at its centre; preparing and adapting for the future to ensure ASEAN remains relevant and resilient, so its people can overcome existing and future challenges and threats; and creating opportunities for people to benefit through initiatives that enhance the sustainable prosperity of the region.

The Minister also welcomed the growing number of countries interested to accede to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC), on the basis of respect for and in conformity with the purposes and principles of the TAC. The Minister looked forward to the accession of Greece, the Netherlands, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar in the future.

Also discussed at the meeting was the situation in the South China Sea, where some Ministers expressed concerns on the land reclamations, activities, and serious incidents in the area, which have eroded trust and confidence, increased tensions, and may undermine peace, security, and stability in the region

The Ministers stressed the need to enhance mutual trust and confidence; exercise self-restraint in the conduct of activities that would complicate or escalate disputes and affect peace and stability and avoid actions that may further complicate the situation.

Regarding the situation in Rakhine state, the Minister welcomed the Government of Myanmar’s continued efforts in addressing the situation, including commencing the repatriation process in accordance with its bilateral agreements with Bangladesh.

 

Source: The Government Public Relations Department

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