ASEAN central to Australia’s vision for inclusive, resilient, open Indo-Pacific: Minister hinh anh 1Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Marise Payne (Photo: Getty Images)

Sydney (VNA) – Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Marise Payne said on August 4 that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the ASEAN-led architecture are central to Australia's positive vision for an inclusive, resilient and open Indo-Pacific.

In a media release, Payne said she would participate in the ASEAN-Australia Post Ministerial Conference, the East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, and the ASEAN Regional Forum via videoconference.

She would update ASEAN partners on the implementation of Australia’s support to Southeast Asia on post-COVID-19 recovery, including the implementation of the 500 million AUD package of new economic, and security and development initiatives announced at the ASEAN-Australia Summit in 2020.

The minister would also outline Australia’s support in increasing access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines in Southeast Asia.

Australia is delivering this vital support through sharing vaccines as well as a 300-million-AUD commitment under the country’s Vaccine Access and Health Security Initiative, which includes a 21-million- AUD contribution to the ASEAN Centre for Public Health Emergencies and Emerging Diseases. Australia is also providing 100 million AUD through the Quad Vaccine Partnership, according to Payne.

Southeast Asia’s ability to rebound from the pandemic will be critical for Australia’s economic recovery, she said, noting that in 2019 - 2020, ASEAN accounted for 113.7 billion AUD in two-way trade, and over 259 billion AUD in two-way investment.

Payne said she looks forward to discussing key regional security issues, including the South China Sea (called the East Sea in Vietnam), the Korean Peninsula, counter-terrorism and cyber.

Regarding the Myanmar situation, Australia remains committed to supporting ASEAN’s role on Myanmar and continue to urge the full and timely implementation of ASEAN’s Five-Point Consensus, including the immediate appointment of a Special Envoy on Myanmar, the minister added./.