Heads of ASEAN Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM) delegations have considered possible admission of new partners to strengthen the bloc’s external relations.
At the virtual meeting held on October 7 they emphasized the importance of ASEAN Centrality and discussed standards to be applied to ASEAN Dialogue Partners.
ASEAN has cultivated close cooperation with countries and organizations outside the region in numerous fields such as trade, investment, human resources development, science and technology, education, combat against drug trafficking, and anti-terrorism. These are done through the frameworks of ASEAN+1 (with its 10 Dialogue Partners namely Australia, Canada, China, India, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, Russia, the US, the European Union, as well as with the United Nations), ASEAN+3 and the East Asia Summit (EAS).
The member states agreed with Vietnam’s recommendations for the declaration of ASEAN+3 on economic resilience against emerging challenges.
They have also discussed a wide range of issues at the October 7 virtual meeting to boost cooperation among the member states.
Topics of the discussion include the building process of the ASEAN Community; the implementation of three-pillar plan for the ASEAN Community Vision 2025; Hanoi Declaration on the ASEAN Community Vision after 2025; sub-region cooperation for the bloc development; the importance of maintaining peace, security and stability in the South China Sea.
At the meeting chaired by Vietnamese Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung, head of Vietnam’s ASEAN Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM) delegation, the member states highlighted the need to enhance cooperation in combating the Covid-19 pandemic.
Accordingly, the terms of reference (TOR) on the establishment of the regional warehouses of medical supplies and ASEAN’s Covid-19 Response Fund was approved at the meeting while a set of standard operating procedures (SOP) for emergency public health in ASEAN will soon be complete.
In addition, the member states have contributed to ASEAN’s total recovery framework and supported the forming of an ASEAN travel corridor amid uncertainties of the global health crisis.
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