Myanmar delegation led by U Kyaw Tin, Union Minister for International Cooperation attended the Special ASEAN-China Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), 5th Mekong-Lancang Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, and Special Meeting of ASEAN Coordination Council held on 20 February in Vientiane, Lao PDR. The Union Minister was accompanied by Professor Dr Thet Khine Win, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health and Sports and the officials concerned from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the meetings.
Special ASEAN-China Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)
The Special ASEAN-China Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) was co-chaired by Mr. Teodoro L. Locsin Jr., Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines and Mr. Wang Yi, the State Councillor and Foreign Minister of China, and attended by the Foreign Ministers of ASEAN and the Secretary General of ASEAN. The Ministers exchanged views on their national experiences and information on the fight against the virus-outbreak. Union Minister U Kyaw Tin briefed the meeting on the measures taken by the Myanmar Government to prevent and control of COVID-19 and its possible impact on public health, trade and tourism sectors. He also informed the meeting that even though there has been no confirmed case yet in Myanmar, a total of 40 patients ( 2 suspects and 38 under-watch) are placed under investigation and 36 of them including 2 suspects have already been found negative results. Only the remaining 4 patients are waiting for lab test result. He also commended the strong and comprehensive measures taken by the Chinese government to address the challenges of the virus. He also stressed the need to show solidarity with the people of China and to enhance collective efforts to prevent and control of rapid-spreading COVID-19 through existing ASEAN mechanisms as the epidemic poses a threat to well-being of the people and to the economy of the countries of the region.
The meeting adopted the Joint Press Communiqué containing joint work plan of ASEAN and China to fight against virus-outbreak. The ASEAN member states and China agreed to carry out sharing information including exchanging epidemiological information and technical guidelines, strengthen cooperation within ASEAN-led mechanisms and with external partners, to inform the peoples with timely and accurate information, to effectively utilize ASEAN-China Health Ministers’ Meeting (ACHMM) and other mechanisms, to enhance cooperation between the Centers for Disease Control of ASEAN member states and China, to mitigate supply chain disruptions of medical goods and promote research, and to maintain people-to-people exchanges, trade and investment activities in order to reduce the impact of the epidemic on the socioeconomic development the peoples.
5th Mekong-Lancang Cooperation Foreign Ministers’ Meeting
In the afternoon, Myanmar delegation also participated in the 5th Mekong-Lancang Cooperation Foreign Ministers’ Meeting. The Meeting was co-chaired by the Mr Saleumxay Kommasith, the Foreign Minister of Laos and Mr Wang Yi, the State Councillor and Foreign Minister of China, and attended by the Foreign Ministers of Mekong countries.
During the meeting, the Ministers reviewed the implementation status of the directives of the 2nd Mekong-Lancang Leaders’ Meeting and the progress of Special Fund projects, and exchanged view on the future work of Mekong-Lancang cooperation. The Ministers also reaffirmed to step up cooperation based on the friendship, good neighbourliness and equality to achieve regional sustainable development. The meeting approved a list of projects to be implemented by the “Mekong-Lancang Special Fund 2020” which includes (22) projects for Myanmar. Myanmar will receive approximately over US$ (7) million from Mekong-Lancang Special Fund to implement those 22 projects covering various areas including culture, agriculture, research, investment promotion, education, law enforcement and capacity building in Myanmar. The meeting adopted the Joint Press Communiqué on enhancing Mekong-Lancang cooperation.
Special Meeting of ASEAN Coordination Council
Myanmar Delegation has also attended the Special Meeting of ASEAN Coordination Council held in the morning of 20 February. During the meeting, the ASEAN Foreign Ministers deliberated their national efforts to fight against COVID-19 virus-outbreak. A Chair’s Statement was issued by the meeting. Among ASEAN 10 member States, 4 countries (Myanmar, Brunei Darussalam, Lao PDR and Indonesia) have so far no reported confirmed case of Covid-19.—MNA