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ASEAN ministers try to forge united front against Covid-19

Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Prak Sokhonn called on ASEAN to help alleviate the plight of the poor, including Cambodians, who have been severely impacted economically by Covid-19.

“While ASEAN is grappling with Covid-19 and its severe impacts which hit people hardest who live on society’s margins, collective efforts are needed to mitigate their difficulties and maintain progress in poverty reduction and prevent backsliding,” Sokhonn was quoted as saying on August 3.

Sokhonn made these remarks while attending the 54th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on August 2 via video conference.

He called on ASEAN to ensure sustainable economic recovery and growth for the region, including through the creation of the ASEAN Travel Corridor Arrangement Framework and the ASEAN Centre for Public Health Emergencies and Emerging Diseases (ACPHEED).

He said they must also ensure that ASEAN’s engagement with external partners is supportive of the policy of ASEAN centrality and in line with ASEAN’s principles, including those defined under ASEAN’s outlook on the Indo-Pacific.

The ministry’s press release said the ministers discussed ways to strengthen the implementation of various regional initiatives—including the Covid-19 ASEAN Response Fund, the establishment of the ACPHEED, the ASEAN Travel Corridor Arrangement, and the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework — with a view to overcoming the Covid-19 pandemic and addressing the socio-economic impacts caused by the ongoing crisis.

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