New Zealand commits support for ASEAN during COVID-19 pandemic

November 14, 2020 - 15:42
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced a wide range of support for ASEAN at the ASEAN-New Zealand Commemorative Summit on Saturday.


New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at the ASEAN-New Zealand Commemorative Summit on Saturday. — VNA/VNS Photo Thống Nhất

HÀ NỘI — New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced a wide range of support for ASEAN at the ASEAN-New Zealand Commemorative Summit on Saturday.

The assistance includes US$12 million for efforts to control the pandemic, $1 million for the ASEAN COVID-19 Response Fund, $10 million for smart agriculture, and $5 million for the Mekong River Committee.

 Ardern said New Zealand and ASEAN shared a strong legacy of working together to advance peace and prosperity in the region.

“ASEAN is our fourth largest trading partner, a crucial defence and security partner, and a critical strategic hub that connects us to Asia and the rest of the world.”

“Our partnership will play an important role as our countries work together to support global efforts to manage the pandemic and ensure fair and equitable access to safe vaccines, and drive economic recovery through maintaining open markets for our exporters and resilient supply chains,” she said.

The PM reaffirmed New Zealand’s commitment to strengthening its partnership with ASEAN under the themes of “Peace, Prosperity, People and Planet”, which will promote co-operation in areas such as sustainability and climate change, trade facilitation and digital commerce.

Ardern said New Zealand supported ASEAN's initiatives that set a priority for inclusive development in which no one was left behind, while backing the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework.

Addressing the summit, Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc congratulated Ardern on her re-election as prime minister of New Zealand and expressed his expectation that ASEAN-New Zealand relations would continue to strengthen during her new term.

Phúc said 2020 marked the 45th anniversary of the diplomatic partnership between the two countries.

Remarkable development in ASEAN-New Zealand co-operation had been recorded over the past four decades, he said.

Two-way trade turnover had increased more than 142 times, reaching $12.5 billion last year.

More than 80,000 ASEAN people were living, working and looking for business opportunities in New Zealand, evidence of the strong ties between the two sides, Phúc said.

The leaders of ASEAN and New Zealand shared their deep concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic during the meeting, which has affected the lives of people as well as economies around the world.

They underscored the importance of strong, resilient and sustainable supply chains in order to effectively trade and to ensure the unimpeded flow of goods and services, including medical supplies.

The leaders reiterated the necessity of promoting maritime security and safety, freedom of navigation and overflight, unimpeded commerce, mutual trust and confidence, the exercise of self-restraint, the non-use of force or the threat to use force, and the resolution of settling disputes by peaceful means, in accordance with recognised principles of international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). — VNS