Myanmar Issue Among Key Topics of ASEAN Leaders’ First In-person Meeting
22:00 | 24/04/2021
VGP – Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh on Saturday attended the ASEAN Leaders’ Meeting – the first of its kind after 18 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh at the ASEAN Leaders’ Meeting in Jakarta, Indonesia, April 24, 2021. Photo: VGP

At the meeting, leaders of other ASEAN member States congratulated Pham upon his election as Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, welcoming Pham to the first meeting of the bloc’s leaders.

Topics high on the agenda of the meeting include ASEAN Community building, its external relations, and regional and international issues of mutual concerns, according to the Vietnamese Ministry Foreign Affairs.

Regarding the ASEAN Community building process, the leaders agreed that the bloc is facing a range of challenges that threaten peace, stability and development in each member country and individual citizens.

Against the backdrop, more than ever, the leaders agreed that ASEAN must work together to forge ahead with solidarity, unity and mutual assistance to lead the region to overcome this hard time and to sustain its centrality, prestige and position.

The ASEAN Leaders' Meeting focuses on three topics, namely ASEAN Community building, its external relations, and regional and international issues of shared concerns. Photo: VGP

Stepping up efforts in containing the COVID-19 pandemic and achieving comprehensive recovery becomes one of the Association’s top priorities, thus COVID-19 response initiatives, which were adopted last year, need to be effectively implemented, including putting into operation of the COVID-19 ASEAN Response Fund as soon as possible to buy vaccines and support recovery efforts.

The leaders voiced strong support for Brunei’s ASEAN Responses to Emergencies and Disasters (ASEAN SHIELD) initiative.

On external relations, the leaders agreed to further deepen effective, practical and balanced cooperation with ASEAN’s partners based on the bloc’s fundamental principles, ensuring its centrality.

For regional and international issues, the leaders focused discussions on the Myanmar issue, expressing their concerns over the deteriorating situation which seriously affects life of citizens there.

They called for self-restraint, end of force, and facilitation of favorable conditions in favor of seeking solutions to the future of Myanmar.

Under the spirit of solidarity and non-interference in internal affairs, the leaders agreed that ASEAN representatives will be sent to Myanmar to learn about the situation, contact with the relevant sides, and propose ways and measures to promote dialogue and reconciliation.

ASEAN also agreed to continue fostering humanitarian assistance efforts through its Coordinating Center for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management (AHA)./.

By Quang Minh

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