PM Phuc calls for stronger ASEAN cooperation against COVID-19 hinh anh 1PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc chairs the plenary session of the 36th ASEAN Summit. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) –
The 36th ASEAN Summit offers an opportunity for the regional countries to further enhance intra-bloc cooperation to repel challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said on June 26.

Chairing the plenary session of the summit, which took place in the form of a video conference, the Vietnamese leader urged the ASEAN member nations to exert further efforts to complete the bloc’s cooperation goals for 2020 and effectively respond to regional challenges, including COVID-19.

As the pandemic is still hitting the region and the world, he expressed his hope that the ASEAN countries will demonstrate stronger determination to both contain the spread of disease and promote sustainable development. 

The PM asked other ASEAN leaders to focus their discussion on orientations to foster cooperation in building the ASEAN Community, including the implementation of priorities of 2020 and measures to control the pandemic and to recover socio-economic development in the region.

During the session, ASEAN leaders reviewed the progress of the building of the ASEAN Community since their 35th Summit, and directed the implementation of cooperation plans between the group and its partners. They also compared notes on regional and international issues of common concern.

ASEAN Secretary General Lim Jock Hoi delivered a report on the recent cooperation among its member countries, and Vietnamese Deputy PM, Foreign Minister and Chairman of the National ASEAN 2020 Committee Pham Binh Minh briefed participants on the bloc’s efforts and cooperation in the fight against COVID-19.

Speaking highly of Vietnam’s role as the ASEAN 2020 Chair, participants said with significant results in controlling the pandemic, ASEAN has sent out a strong message on a regional organisation that is cohesive and proactive and playing a key role in the regional development. 

They also stressed the need to improve skills of workers, considering this as an important factor for ASEAN’s development, especially in the digital age, and compared notes on regional and international issues of common concern.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc underlined the importance of strengthening the ASEAN's central role the region, as well as bolstering its relations with partners for peace, sustainable development and effective responses to emerging challenges.

ASEAN leaders approved the ASEAN Chair Statement on the outcomes of the 36th ASEAN Summit, the ASEAN Leaders' Vision Statement on a Cohesive and Responsive ASEAN, and the ASEAN Declaration on human resources development for the changing world of work./.