On behalf of Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh, Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung, head of the ASEAN Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM) delegation of Vietnam, attended the event.

Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung addresses the event. (Photo: VNA)

Both sides agreed to closely cooperate in developing and producing COVID-19 vaccines and medicines, and to ensure broad access for the public. The officials re-affirmed their countries’ commitments to supporting one another’s citizens affected by the pandemic and creating conditions for repatriation if necessary.

At the meeting, ASEAN and Australia also committed that they will make efforts to minimize the pandemic’s socio-economic impacts, support the recovery and maintenance of regional and global supply chains, and discuss measures to gradually ease and lift travel restrictions between them.

They also agreed to work together to ensure peace, stability, the rule of law, and create favorable conditions for activities in COVID-19 prevention and control in each country.

Addressing the meeting, Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung said ASEAN has shown the highest political resolve and promoted joint actions in line with the bloc’s theme of “Cohesive and Responsive” for 2020.

As each other’s strategic partners, ASEAN and Australia should increase sharing information and experience, provide technical assistance, improve capacity, and stay vigilant against a second wave of COVID-19. They should also ensure the interests and equal treatment of ASEAN countries’ citizens in Australia, he stressed.

He also noted that in the current context, countries need to uphold their sense of responsibility, and avoid taking any action that causes instability or negatively affects efforts to curb the pandemic.

Translated by Lam Anh