US and ASEAN committed to strengthening partnership in the health sector

The United States and ASEAN countries are committed to strengthening partnerships in health, reaffirming the importance of investing in resilient health systems and the biomedical industry.

This was announced in a joint statement issued on Sunday by the co-chairs of the U.S.-ASEAN Special Ministerial Meeting on Foreign Affairs earlier this week.

The meeting, which was held by videoconference, discussed U.S.-ASEAN cooperation in the field of health, especially with regard to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Participants expressed their deep condolences for the loss of life from the coronavirus and expressed their gratitude and support to all doctors and other health professionals.

“We recognize the critical importance of international cooperation in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and reaffirm our commitment to intensify global cooperation, giving priority to global health and advocating trust, a spirit of cooperation and solidarity in our conduct and in our relations with other members of the international community,” the statement said. – In this light, we also reaffirm the value of the ASEAN-U.S. strategic partnership in maintaining peace, security and stability in the region, as well as in enhancing coordination in the face of the unprecedented challenge of COVID-19.

Both sides reaffirmed that the emergency response to the Coronavirus epidemic must be focused, proportionate, transparent and temporary and not create unnecessary barriers to travel and trade. Nor should they lead to the destruction of global supply chains, the document said.