14 April 2020, Prime Minister and Defense Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha is scheduled to attend the ASEAN and ASEAN+3 (China, Japan, and South Korea) Special Summits to discuss the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the current situation where COVID-19 pandemic has greatly affected countries across the world including ASEAN member countries. Altogether in ASEAN there are more than 10,000 confirmed cases. And the number has been increased significantly. ASEAN leaders have come to terms to hold the ASEAN Summit, which is normally held twice a year, via a video conferencing. The ASEAN Summit is scheduled in the morning of April 14, later in the afternoon will be set aside for the ASEAN+3 Summit.
The latter Summit will be held as an outcome of the Special ASEAN-China Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) held earlier in Vientiane, Lao PDR, during which China proposed for a special summit on COVID-19 at an appropriate timing. The Thai Foreign Minister was of the view that the ASEAN+3 (China, Japan, and South Korea) Special Summit on COVID-19 would be beneficial to both ASEAN member countries and the three countries which have been affected by the pandemic. Vietnam will chair the Summits in 2020. Therefore, Vietnamese PM will first give a speech as a chair of the meeting then followed by other member by alphabetical order. Starting from His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei Darussalam as the next chair on 2021.
ASEAN leaders will discuss and exchange views on the situation, public health related measures, and collective approaches in mitigating social and economic impact in an efficient manner, both within the region and with the external partners. At present, each ASEAN member country has elevated their preventive measures and surveillance through social distancing or physical distancing, working from home, wearing masks, etc. Thailand has also established the Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) and invoked state of emergency which the Prime Minister has monitored closely as the chair. The CCSA overlook all measures to overcome the COVID-19 challenges including Medical and Public Health Issues, Protecting and assisting the public, Control of Consumer Items, Economic assistance, Foreign Affairs, and Communications in times of crisis
Two joint declarations expected to be adopt at the ASEAN Summit, which will affirm the resoluteness of leaders of ASEAN and dialogue partners (China, Japan, and South Korea) in preventing and minimizing risk of the disease that have been threatening people’s lives, social and economic stability of ASEAN member countries. (Thaigov.go.th)