ASEAN and the US has agreed to tighten cooperation in the health sector in which Vietnam suggests the US offer technical support and cooperation in epidemiology and treatment for the region to mitigate socio-economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, the US Department of State said on its website.
|US State Secretary Mike Pompeo. Photo: Reuters|
At the online Special ASEAN-US Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on Covid-19 held on April 23, US State Secretary Mike Pompeo launched the US-ASEAN Futures initiative to lay the groundwork for long-term partnership.
Meanwhile, the ASEAN-US Network of Medical Experts, and support for ASEAN and its Secretariat to build infrastructure for pandemic control in the region.
In addition, they are also exploring smart city health solutions through the US-ASEAN Smart Cities Partnership.
To date, the United States has released more than US$35.3 million in emergency health funding to help ASEAN countries fight the virus, building on the US$3.5 billion in public health assistance provided across ASEAN over the last twenty years, according to Mike Pompeo.
|Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh at the meeting on April 23. Photo: MOFA|
As the Chair of ASEAN 2020, Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh stressed that ASEAN had shown great political determination and increased co-ordination in a responsive and cohesive spirit.
Accordingly, foreign minister from the US and ASEAN reached a consensus on countermeasures, and vowed to work closely together on other regional and global issues.
They agreed to step up information and experience sharing, policy co-ordination and capacity building.
They also highlighted the need for the early availability of vaccines and treatments while ensuring countries had equal access to both.