ASEAN, ASEAN + 3 Special Summits on COVID-19 symbolise regional solidarity hinh anh 1In West Java, Indonesia (Photo: Xinhua) 
Jakarta (VNA) – The upcoming ASEAN and ASEAN+3 Special Summits on COVID-19 Response symbolise regional solidarity, said Secretary-General of ASEAN Dato Lim Jock Hoi in an written Interview with the Vietnam News Agency on April 13.

He stressed that the Summits also reflect ASEAN and Plus Three Dialogue Partners’ leadership in forging regional responses to complement national and global measures against COVID-19.

According to the ASEAN leader, the pandemic has shown that the virus knows no national boundaries. A collective response from the region will complement and strengthen national and local responses.

“The Summits will also provide for enhanced political coordination and commitment in concretising collective efforts from all stakeholders/sectors, to support whole-of-government and whole-of-health system approach with a stronger regional response in mitigating the impact of this pandemic,” he said.

Furthermore, the pandemic cannot be addressed by a one-off response. It requires a comprehensive long-term plan, going beyond the current containment efforts to also focus on mitigation and recovery, he added.

“ASEAN seeks to enhance our cooperative relationships with our ASEAN Plus Three counterparts, to find ways in which we may work together to articulate a common unified response to COVID-19,” said Secretary-General Dato Lim Jock Hoi.

“ASEAN welcomes a unified approach to tackling the far-reaching impact of COVID-19. We expect collective effort in partnership with our external partners and relevant institutions on post-pandemic recovery is needed, particularly in the most affected sectors,” he noted.

“At the strategic level, these Summits demonstrate ASEAN’s commitment to the principle of open-regionalism in this difficult time, as we realise that we are stronger together, and by working together we can overcome this unprecedented challenge more effectively and efficiently”.

ASEAN also expects enhanced collaborative effort in information and knowledge sharing. Not only in the areas of medical development, but also on domestic policies related to social and health security given the vast impact of COVID-19 on communities, he added./.