36th ASEAN Summit: Solidarity steers ASEAN out of challenges

(VOVWORLD) - Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on Friday highlighted the spirit of solidarity and coordination among ASEAN countries in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. 
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The 36th ASEAN Summit opens in Hanoi (Photo: VOV)

At the opening ceremony of the 36th ASEAN Summit in Hanoi, Prime Minister Phuc said this is the first time the ASEAN Summit has been held online, reflecting a change in ASEAN’s working method due to advanced technology and the COVID-19 pandemic. Mr. Phuc said COVID-19 poses a number of political and socio-economic risks and affects security and stability in the region and the world. The Prime Minister said that in this context, ASEAN countries need to be more united and coordinated with the world community to cope with the challenges.

Prime Minister Phuc said that 5 years after the ASEAN Community was set up the bloc now faces opportunities and challenges, but ASEAN members have always united to create an overall strength: “The ASEAN Community has taken prompt action, proactively adapted to changes and connected countries. The ASEAN Emergency Healthcare Response System and cooperation with partners were activated from the early days of the pandemic. ASEAN members have actively engaged in information and experience sharing, and well-coordinated disease control measures thanks to the highest level of political commitment, and a uniform approach at national and regional level, demonstrating the fortitude of united ASEAN, full of sharing and caring.”

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Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc speaks at the opening ceremony of the 36th ASEAN Summit (Photo: VOV)

Prime Minister Phuc stressed the need for ASEAN countries to overcome this difficult period and grow for the rest of the year. He said, “I expect that the 36th ASEAN Summit will be an opportunity for member states to show strong political will and commitment to meet the challenges, keep the pandemic under control, and revitalize the economy, while continuing to meet this year’s ASEAN community building and integration goals. At this summit, countries will discuss a comprehensive plan for economic recovery for the region, the creation of the ASEAN COVID-19 response fund, ASEAN medical supplies reserve, and standard operating procedures for public health emergencies”.

Prime Minister Phuc said he looks forward to the adoption of a Vision Statement on ASEAN's cohesion and proactive adaptation.

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