ASEAN leaders agreed with Thailand’s proposal to set up the Covid-19 ASEAN Response Fund at the Special ASEAN Summit, held via a tele-conference.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha on Tuesday attended the Special ASEAN Summit and the Special ASEAN Plus Three Summit on Covid-19 via video conference. The Summits will be chaired by Vietnam’s Prime Minister as the current ASEAN Chair.
This is the first time in ASEAN history that innovative technology will provide platforms for the Leaders of the 10 ASEAN Member States and ASEAN’s Plus Three Partners, namely China, Japan and the Republic of Korea, to discuss via video conference and reaffirm their shared commitment to cooperate in a concrete manner and coordinate an effective and timely response to the spread of Covid-19, said the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs in its statement.
This includes mitigating the far-reaching socio-economic impact caused by the pandemic, and preparing for a post-Covid recovery to restore confidence and the return to normalcy in the region.
The Summits focused on areas of cooperation such as the exchange of information and best practices, strengthening national and regional capacity in responding to public health emergencies, providing assistance to nationals of ASEAN Plus Three Countries, promoting effective public communication and countering fake news and misinformation, preserving regional supply chain, especially the flow of essential goods and services, and sharing of measures undertaken to mitigate the socio-economic impacts of Covid-19.
Leaders agreed with Thailand’s proposal to set up the fund to finance the purchase of medical equipment for ASEAN members and to support researches for Covid-19 medicine and vaccine development. The initiative will be the start of the grouping’s concrete cooperation on Covid-19 response.
The Thai prime minister also expressed Thailand’s readiness to give 10,000 locally-made RT-PCR test kits to each country.
The leaders of ASEAN nations endorsed the Declaration of the Special ASEAN Summit on Covid-19.
The keystones of the declaration include strengthening health measures to control the spread of Covid-19 and promoting ASEAN cooperation, particularly civil-centered cooperation on tackling the spread of Covid-19. – (TNA)