The ASEAN post-pandemic recovery plan should prioritise initiatives that can swiftly revive the region’s economies that have been affected by COVID-19, His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam urged ASEAN leaders in a titah during the recent 36th ASEAN Summit.
His Majesty joined the biannual meeting with other ASEAN leaders which carried the theme, “Cohesive and Responsive ASEAN” last week, via a video conference from Baitul Mesyuarah, Istana Nurul Iman.
He further stressed that these initiatives include the easing of restrictions between countries, through the development of a region-wide modality that can be initiated bilaterally “to build up national confidence as well as multilateral confidence within ASEAN”.
The monarch said that this would enable the resumption of regional economic activities, beginning with the movement of professionals.
It will also ensure that essential services can continue, ensure that the movement of goods remains open, supply chains remain connected and deepen economic integration to increase intra-ASEAN trade and investment.
The monarch added that ASEAN has overcome many challenges through close cooperation while putting people first in the regional perspective.
Due to the current geopolitical uncertainty, His Majesty continued, ASEAN must foster strong and diverse partnerships in order to advance its achievements as a community, which includes engaging partners strategically; maintaining ASEAN centrality and building trust and confidence towards the region.
Earlier at the Plenary Session, Nguyen Xuan Phuc, the Prime Minister of Vietnam and as the ASEAN Chairman for 2020 said that the Summit showed a strong commitment towards accomplishing ASEAN integration despite COVID-19.
He then lauded the regional bloc’s resolve in “shouldering the responsibility to fight the pandemic”, thereby demonstrating the resilience of the ASEAN community.
In addition, the chairman emphasised the need to uphold centrality, promote the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (TAC), establish the Code of Conduct (COC) in the South China Sea and commit to international law including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
At the end of the Summit, the ASEAN Leaders adopted the ASEAN Chairman’s Statement of the 36th ASEAN Summit; the ASEAN Leaders’ Vision Statement on a “Cohesive and Responsive ASEAN”, and the ASEAN Declaration on Human Resources Development for the Changing World of Work. – Wardi Wasil
The Bruneian | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN