Top diplomats of the ASEAN member countries yesterday discussed numerous issues, including ASEAN Community building efforts, COVID-19, promoting regionalsm and multilateralism, Myanmar, South China Sea, expansion of dialogue partners, etc., at the 54th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (54th AMM).
According to a press release from the Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation AKP received this morning, the virtual Meeting discussed issues pertaining to ASEAN Community building efforts, enhancing regional integration, political and security aspects, and other pressing issues of common concern and interest to ASEAN region, including matters concerning external relations.
The Meeting welcomed the progress made on ASEAN’s deliverables for 2021, including the pursuit of a Strategic and Holistic Initiative to Link ASEAN Responses to Emergencies and Disasters (ASEAN SHIELD), the development of the Consolidated Strategy on the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) for ASEAN, the promotion of practical cooperation on the Blue Economy, and the advancement in developing an ASEAN Community Vision Post-2025.
The ASEAN Member States emphasised the importance of the need to undertake collective, inclusive and resilient approach to address the immediate challenges, in particular to end the COVID-19 pandemic and to secure speedy economic recovery of the region. In this regard, the Meeting agreed to expedite the implementation of the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework (ACRF) and its Implementation Plan as well as other agreed key initiatives such as the ASEAN Travel Corridor Arrangement with the goal of ensuring that ASEAN emerges more resilient from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to promoting regionalism and multilateralism as well as reinforcing an open, transparent, inclusive, and rules-based regional architecture with ASEAN at its centre in addressing common challenges based on mutual interests and benefits.
The Member States agreed to the accession of the Kingdom of Denmark, the Hellenic Republic, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Sultanate of Oman, the State of Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC) and looked forward to the signing of the instruments of accession in due course. The Meeting also deliberated on various applications of interested countries to accede to the TAC.
The Ministers exchanged views on regional and international issues of common concern and interest, including the maritime cooperation and security, the South China Sea, the Korean Peninsula, the situation in the Middle East, and the developments in Myanmar, and various transboundary issues, such as cyber security. The Meeting agreed to streamline the implementation of the four strategic areas of cooperation under the ASEAN Outlook on Indo-Pacific (AOIP) in ASEAN’s engagement with external partners, in particular through the framework of ASEAN Plus Three and East Asia Summit (EAS). On the follow-up to the ASEAN Leaders’ Meeting on April 24, 2021, the ASEAN Foreign Ministers shared commitment to work expeditously to implement the Five-Point Consensus, particularly in starting the mission of the Special Envoy of the ASEAN Chair to mediate a process of dialogue and humanitarian assistance to Myanmar. They agreed to begin without delay humanitarian assistance delivery through the AHA Centre in response to the COVID-19 outbreak in Myanmar.
The Ministers were also pleased to grant the status of ASEAN Sectoral Dialogue Partnership to the UAE pending completion of formalities. They also agreed to accord the United Kingdom the status of the eleventh Dialogue Partner of ASEAN. They agreed to commence a comprehensive review of the moratorium on new Dialogue Partnerships on external relations.
Source: Agency Kampuchea Press