ASEAN foreign ministers agree to set up COVID-19 response fund hinh anh 1Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh chairs the 25th ASEAN Coordinating Council Meeting on COVID-19 via video conference (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) - Foreign Ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on April 9 agreed to form a COVID-19 response fund to collectively fight against the disease, according to a statement released after the 25th ASEAN Coordinating Council Meeting on COVID-19 via video conference.

"The Ministers agreed to establish the COVID-19 ASEAN Response Fund with the objective of mobilising financial resources to address the shortage of medical supplies, support the research and development of medicines and vaccines for COVID-19, and prepare for emergency responses in the future," said the statement.

ASEAN members also expressed their commitment to ensure the regional supply chains and open markets as well as work closely together to mitigate the impacts of the regional and global economic recession, restore the confidence of consumers and business community, and maintain socio-economic stability, it added.

The statement said the ministers also expressed strong commitment to further advance joint actions to tackle COVID-19 and the social and economic impacts that the pandemic has brought about to the region, particularly the ASEAN Community building process, through promoting policy coordination, sharing experiences and best practices, and exploring the possibility to provide mutual assistance among ASEAN member states.

They also recognised the need to engage constructively with external partners, including ASEAN dialogue partners and international institutions, in order to broaden collective efforts in the global fight against the pandemic.

The statement said the meeting was concluded with words of solidarity from all ASEAN foreign ministers who spoke in their respective languages: "We stand united with our ASEAN Member States in the fight against COVID-19."

It added that the meeting looked forward to the fruitful outcomes of the ASEAN Special Summit on COVID-19 and the ASEAN Plus Three Special Summit on COVID-19 via video conference to be held on April 14.

ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam./.