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Vietnamese and German experts publish book on ASEAN fight against pandemic
Anh Kiet 13:26, 2021/11/17
Each nation has a different approach to the pandemic, depending on many factors including resources, social fragmentation.

Vietnamese and German experts have collaborated to study the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on international relations and response measures of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the surrounding region, thereby drawing valuable lessons.

The information is introduced in the book with the same title written by Vietnamese and German authors, which was discussed in a webinar jointly held by the University of Social Sciences and Humanities (USSH) and the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Foundation on November 16 afternoon.

Addressing the event, Dr. Detlef Briesen from the German university of Justus-Liebig Universität, Gießen, and also the co-editor of the book, introduced the content and outstanding results of the studies gathered in the publication.

Dr. Detlef Briesen, from German university of Justus-Liebig Universität, Gießen, speaks at the webinar. Screenshot: Nguyen Ngan

Besides analyzing the evolution of the Covid-19 pandemic in Southeast Asian countries and the responses of some countries in the region; the book considers cooperation efforts within ASEAN to deal with the pandemic and provides a panorama of the anti-pandemic process of countries outside Southeast Asia, thereby suggesting some experiences for Southeast Asian countries.

According to Dr. Detlef, the goal is to show the methods of fighting the pandemic that countries have used, advantages, and limitations so that they can learn from each other's experiences.

“Each nation has a different approach to the pandemic, depending on many factors including resources, social fragmentation. Vietnam has an overarching anti-pandemic policy model, to balance between goals and inherent resources,” Detlef Briesen told The Hanoi Times.

In terms of ASEAN as a whole, Dr. Detlef Briesen said that governments are still actively cooperating with each other in many forms even during the pandemic.

Regarding the role of international organizations in the process of coordinating the anti-pandemic response and post-Covid economic recovery, David Payne, international project manager of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), said that UNDP has collaborated with other international organizations such as World Health Organization (WHO), ASEAN and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) ​​to support medical emergencies, enhance the responsiveness of the health sector, build an electronic tracing system, and deploy vaccines to the right places.

“In Vietnam, the UNDP has supported a pilot project of a digital system to enhance electronic payments, invested in remote areas to minimize the disparity in anti-pandemic conditions, supported Vietnam’s Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs and related ministries to provide social support services, among others,” David Payne said.

 Dr. Vo Xuan Vinh, Deputy Director of the Institute of Southeast Asia, makes a speech at the event. Screenshot: Nguyen Ngan

Regarding ASEAN's cooperation in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, Dr. Vo Xuan Vinh, Deputy Director of the Institute of Southeast Asia, said that ASEAN has had certain forms of cooperation through dialogue forums and efforts to tackle Covid-19 including the introduction of Covid-19 prevention agendas and multilateral pandemic response strategies.

“It can be said that ASEAN acts as a support channel which provides information and is the center for resource coordination,” Vinh said.

In order to enhance opportunities and limit challenges for ASEAN after the pandemic, the speakers agreed that ASEAN should continue to uphold multilateralism, strengthen cooperation and unity to respond to the pandemic.

The online version of the book is slated to be released in December.

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