Top Stories : Prime Minister Attended the 36th ASEAN Summit and Related Meetings  news3

Top Stories : Prime Minister Attended the 36th ASEAN Summit and Related Meetings

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha attended the 36th ASEAN Summit and Related Meetings and proposed three ways forward for ASEAN in the post-COVID-19 era, by promoting a ‘more connected ASEAN’, ‘a stronger ASEAN’ and ‘an ASEAN with an enhanced immunity.’ The Meeting emphasised the importance of protection of our people during the crisis and discussed the setting up of travel bubbles in the region, and promoting digital technology to help control the spread of COVID-19, mitigate its adverse impacts and promote our economic recovery sustainably. The Summit also announced the official establishment of the COVID-19 ASEAN Response Fund in which Thailand will make a voluntary contribution of USD 100,000 to the Fund.
 
On 26 June 2020, H.E. General Prayut Chan-o-cha, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand, attended the 36th ASEAN Summit and Related Meetings.  This is the first time in ASEAN’s history to convene an ASEAN Summit in full via videoconference. The Summit and Related Meetings were chaired by H.E. Mr. Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, under Viet Nam’s ASEAN Chairmanship theme of “Cohesive and Responsive”.
 
At the Summit, the ASEAN Leaders reaffirmed their commitment to collectively advance the ASEAN Community, especially in the implementation of the ASEAN Community Vision 2025, to realise an ASEAN Community that is truly people-centred and leaves no one behind. The Leaders also discussed ways and means to enhance ASEAN cooperation in response to COVID-19 by emphasising the importance of protection of our people during the crisis, especially vulnerable groups which include migrant workers, cooperation on research and development of medicines and vaccines, easing restrictions on travel and considering setting up ‘travel bubbles’ in the region, and promoting digital technology in order to help control the spread of COVID-19, mitigate its adverse impacts and promote our economic recovery sustainably.  
 
The Summit reached the following decisions in responding to COVID-19: (1) announced the official establishment of the COVID-19 ASEAN Response Fund in which Thailand will make a voluntary contribution of USD 100,000 to the Fund; (2) approved the approach and timeline in the development of ASEAN’s comprehensive recovery plan; (3) agreed to expedite the establishment of an ASEAN Regional Reserve of Medical Supplies for Public Health Emergencies and the development of ASEAN Standard Operating Procedures for Public Health Emergencies; and (4) tasked the ASEAN Coordinating Council to coordinate ASEAN’s coordinated response with regard to COVID-19 across all three ASEAN Community pillars in an effective and holistic manner.   
 
The Leaders also emphasised ASEAN’s leading role and ASEAN centrality in promoting trust and confidence and reducing confrontations between superpowers in the region, especially through pursuing areas of cooperation under the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific which was a key outcome of Thailand’s ASEAN Chairmanship in 2019.  In addition, the Leaders also underlined their support to multilateralism, free and open trade and regional economic integration, especially the signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) this year, in order to support regional economic recovery and ensure sustained regional economic growth.     
 
The Prime Minister proposed three ways forward for ‘ASEAN in the post-COVID-19 era’, by promoting a ‘more connected ASEAN’ by land, sea and air, ‘a stronger ASEAN’ and ‘an ASEAN with an enhanced immunity’ by promoting health security, food security, human security, protecting human rights, cooperation on business and human rights, and addressing terrorism, transnational crime, cyber threats, illegal migration, drug trafficking and illegal fishing for regional peace. Thailand has also applied the Sufficiency Economy Philosophy, in conjunction with the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as an alternative to strengthen ASEAN’s long-term resilience.  
 
At the end of the Summit, the Leaders adopted the ASEAN Leaders’ Vision Statement on a Cohesive and Responsive ASEAN: Rising above Challenges and Sustaining Growth as well as the ASEAN Declaration on Human Resources Development for the Changing World of Work.
 
To further promote a people-centred ASEAN Community and enhance participation from all sectors and stakeholders, the Leaders also attended other side meetings, including the ASEAN Leaders’ Special Session on Women’s Empowerment in the Digital Age and interface sessions with representatives from the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly, ASEAN Youth and the ASEAN-Business Advisory Council to exchange views and collectively advance an ASEAN Community that is responsive to ASEAN people’s priorities.