Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Phạm Bình Minh speaks at the event. —VNA/VNS Photo
HÀ NỘI — Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Phạm Bình Minh on Thursday said Việt Nam would enhance its co-operation with other countries, including the US, as well as the World Health Organisation in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking at the online Special ASEAN - US Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on COVID-19, Minh informed participants of the measures undertaken by the Vietnamese Government and the initial positive results it had recorded.
He stressed that ASEAN had shown great political determination and increased co-ordination in a responsive and cohesive spirit.
The US, he suggested, could offer technical support and cooperation in epidemiology studies and treatment, ensuring the interests of ASEAN citizens and mitigating the pandemic’s impacts on socio-economic development.
The official also called on countries to pay attention to issues regarding peace, regional security, stability, solidarity, trust building, and legality.
Sharing concerns over the complex developments of COVID-19, foreign ministers from ASEAN and the US shared their experience in fighting the pandemic, reached a consensus on countermeasures, and vowed to work closely together on other regional and global issues.
They agreed to step up information and experience sharing, policy co-ordination and capacity building.
They also highlighted the need for the early availability of vaccines and treatments while ensuring countries had equal access to both.
Officials vowed to exert every effort to ease the socio-economic toll, guarantee price stability, and maintain regional and global supply chains, especially for essential goods.
Discussions also focused on long-term economic recovery measures via the Partnership on Regional Cooperation Optimisation (PROSPECT) and the Inclusive Growth in ASEAN through Innovation, Trade and E-Commerce (IGNITE) programmes.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said his government had committed over US$500 million in emergency assistance for the global fight against COVID-19, focusing on improving the capacity of labs, control and rapid response.
The US also announced several initiatives, such as the ASEAN - US Health Futures and the ASEAN - US Network of Medical Experts, and support for ASEAN and its Secretariat to build infrastructure for pandemic control in the region.
The ASEAN side hailed the US for providing the bloc with over $35.3 million for anti-pandemic efforts, and proposed the country actively backed ASEAN initiatives such as the establishment of a COVID-19 response fund and medical equipment reserves for emergency cases.
As countries pooled resources for the fight, ministers highlighted the need to maintain a rules-based order in the region, ensuring peace, stability, security, and law abidance in the region, and strengthening trust and transparency to prevent further complicating the situation. — VNS