ASEAN Foreign Ministers meet on COVID-19
MANILA – With very limited international flights and strict quarantine measures in place, ASEAN Foreign Ministers met yesterday online and discussed appropriate measures to combat and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 25th Meeting of the ASEAN Coordinating Council (ACC) was convened using appropriate technology yesterday.
During the Meeting, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs statement, measures recommended by the ASEAN Coordinating Council Working Group on Public Health Emergencies during their inaugural meeting last March 31 were also endorsed. These measures include continued sharing of information and best practices, measures to mitigate the negative socio-economic impact of the pandemic, and the establishment of a COVID-19 ASEAN Response Fund.
In his intervention, Foreign Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin, Jr. underscored the need for continued cooperation among ASEAN Member States to ensure food security, particularly a stable rice supply, as well as access to medicines, personal protective equipment, and other essential medical supplies.
He also highlighted the importance of maintaining peace and stability in the region during this crucial time, particularly in the South China Sea.
At the end of the Meeting, ASEAN Member States were invited to share, in their respective languages, a message of solidarity with ASEAN.
Secretary Locsin delivered his message in Hiligaynon, a regional dialect saying “Katuwang ang Pilipinas sang mga pungsod nga miyembro kan ASEAN sa madinalag-un nga pag-tapna sang COVID-19.” (The Philippines stands united with other ASEAN Member States in the fight against COVID-19). (Melo M. Acuña)
ASEAN Foreign Ministers met online yesterday and discussed measures to combat and respond to COVID-19 pandemic. (DFA Photo)