Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha has emphasized the importance of public health cooperation, in particular on vaccine security, regional stability in order to create an environment conducive for tackling the COVID-19 pandemic, and for economic recovery.
The Prime Minister on 12 November 2020 delivered his statement at the Plenary session of the 37th ASEAN Summit via videoconference. On this occasion, he highlighted four key elements to tackling the COVID-19 pandemic.
First, ASEAN should strengthen public health cooperation, especially on vaccine security and self-reliance, and making COVID-19 vaccines “global public goods” that are equitably accessible to all. He expressed Thailand’s support on the setting-up of the ASEAN Regional Reserve of Medical Supplies (RRMS) for Public Health Emergencies and committed to make initial contribution of ready to contribute personal protective equipment.
Second, ASEAN should engage in COVID-19 recovery efforts in a holistic manner, particularly through full and effective implementation of the newly established ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework for the benefit of all sectors, especially vulnerable groups and hardest hit sectors such as SMEs to ensure access to funding.
Third, ASEAN should build long-term resilience in facing emerging new challenges by strengthening fundamentals through further regional integration as well as uphold people-oriented and people-centered ASEAN Community which “leaves no one behind.”
Fourth, ASEAN should work together to preserve regional stability in order to create an environment conducive for tackling the COVID-19 pandemic and for economic recovery.
The meeting agreed to strengthen public health cooperation to tackle the COVID-19 and prepare to build long-term resilience in facing emerging new challenges. ASEAN leaders agreed to support promotion of multilateralism and regionalism and maintain ASEAN centrality in the regional architecture by making use of the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific as a tool to encourage major superpowers to constructively interact with ASEAN constructively which will contribute to the region’s sustainable socio-economic and social development.
The meeting also congratulated Myanmar on the success of the recent general election, as well as discussed matters pertaining to situation in Rakhine State and the South China Sea.
At this meeting, ASEAN leaders adopted six important documents: (1) Ha Noi Declaration on the ASEAN Community’s Post-2025 Vision, (2) Ha Noi Declaration on the Adoption of the Initiative for ASEAN Integration Work Plan IV (2021-2025), (3) Ha Noi Declaration on Strengthening Social Work towards Cohesive and Responsive ASEAN Community, (4) The Narrative of ASEAN Identity, (5) ASEAN Declaration on Digital Tourism, and (6) ASEAN Declaration on a Framework ASEAN Travel Corridor Arrangement.
Source: The Government Public Relations Department