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Lao PM calls for ASEAN collaboration to prevent second wave of Covid-19

Prime Minister of Laos Thongloun Sisoulith. Photo: Vientiane Times. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

VIENTIANE, Jun 29, 2020, Vientiane Times. Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith has reiterated the need for Asean nations to strengthen joint efforts to prevent a second outbreak of Covid-19 and to share in post-pandemic economic recovery, Vientiane Times reported.

The prime minister made the call on Friday when addressing the 36th Asean Summit which was held by video link.

Asean leaders discussed their efforts to strengthen the building of the Asean Community at a time when the region and the global community are tackling the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mr Thongloun called for the prompt sharing of information and best practices in the prevention and treatment of the virus, as well as for research and development towards the production of a vaccine.
He stressed the need for comprehensive post-pandemic socio-economic recovery, saying enhanced Asean connectivity was necessary to ensure the stability of supply and trade chains, along with investment in Asean, while unemployment and poverty reduction should also be addressed.

“All of these have contributed to narrowing the development gap among Asean member states, comprehensively strengthening the Asean Community and the transition to the new normal,” the prime minister said. The summit took the theme “Cohesive and Responsive Asean”.

The region’s leaders discussed cooperation within Asean and between Asean and dialogue partners and other external development partners. They highly valued the progress made in the implementation of the Asean Vision 2025 since the mid-term review.

Leaders exchanged views on the current regional and global situation, saying they highly valued their cooperation with external partners, which contributed to the maintenance of peace and stability in Asean and Asean centrality, as well as socio-economic development.

Continuing cooperation supported Asean’s battle against Covid-19 and provided support for the Asean Covid-19 Response Fund and Asean reserves for medical supplies to meet urgent needs during the epidemic.

The summit adopted two important documents, namely the Vision Statement on Cohesion and Responsive Asean, and the Asean Declaration on Human Resources Development for Changing the World of Work.
On the sidelines of the summit, Asean leaders met to discuss ways to empower women in the digital age. The Asean leaders also held discussions via video link with Asean Inter-Parliamentary Assembly, Asean Business Advisory Council, and Asean Youth.

Leaders said they highly valued the important contribution of these three organisations in building the Asean Community and called on them to continue their efforts.

Asean was founded in Bangkok, Thailand, on August 8, 1967 when the founding members Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand signed the Asean Declaration. Since then Asean has expanded and enlarged its membership with the inclusion of Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, the Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Vietnam.

By Somxay Sengdara

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