37th ASEAN Summit Produces 33 Agreement Documents
Date 14 November 2020
The 37th ASEAN Summit which was attended by President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo virtually from the Bogor Presidential Palace on Thursday (12/11) has produced 33 agreement documents, Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi has said.
The agreement include the Hanoi Declaration on the ASEAN Community’s Post-2025 Vision, the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework, the Hanoi Declaration on Strengthening Social Network Towards Cohesive and Responsive ASEAN Community, the ASEAN Declaration on Digital Tourism, the Hanoi Declaration on the Adoption of the Initiative for ASEAN Integration Work Plan 2021-2025, the ASEAN Declaration on the ASEAN Travel Corridor Arrangement Framework, as well as the Narrative of ASEAN Identity.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Retno added, ASEAN has made efforts to respond to it, in terms of the health sector as well as the economic cooperation. “In this summit, all of these efforts have yielded results, namely the availability of the COVID-19 ASEAN Emergency Response Fund, which has secured commitment of US$ 10 million, including from Japan, South Korea, China, Singapore, Australia, England, Switzerland, and from others countries,” she said.
The Foreign Minister added that the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework is ready, which contains strategies to overcome the pandemic through cooperation among the ASEAN countries and the dialogue partners.
“In this framework, there are five strategies, namely enhancing health systems, strengthening human security, maximizing potential of intra-ASEAN market and broader economic integration, accelerating inclusive digital transformation, and advancing toward a more sustainable and resilient future,” the Minister said.
In addition, the ASEAN Regional Reserve of Medical Supplies for Public Health Emergency is also ready. Regarding the ASEAN Travel Corridor Arrangement Framework, the Foreign Minister added, it came from Indonesia’s initiative to regulate essential business travelers with strict protocols to support economic recovery.
The Minister said that the Narrative of ASEAN Identity is also an initiative from Indonesia. “The narrative of the ASEAN identity will strengthen the pride and identity of the ASEAN nations which will at the same time strengthen the “we-feelings” of the ASEAN,” Retno said, adding that in the series of summit meetings, 15 countries have also signed RCEP (The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership).
Apart from the leaders of the member countries, the 37th ASEAN Summit was also attended virtually by the WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and the ASEAN Secretary General Lim Jock Hoi.
“The Director General of WHO has expressed appreciation for the ASEAN’s effective response and the high commitment of ASEAN to learn from each other. In addition, the Director General of WHO also welcomes various ASEAN initiatives, including the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework and the Regional Reserve of Medical Supplies for Public Health Emergency,” Retno said.
The WHO Director General also praised India, Vietnam and Singapore for joining the Accelerator Facilitation Council, which will facilitate the ACT Accelerator through fund, political leadership and advocacy for collective solutions.
In the meantime, the ASEAN Secretary General Lim Jock Hoi said that the Southeast Asia is facing the tough situation during the pandemic, in which tourism dropped 71 percent, trade dropped 12 percent, and FDI (foreign direct investment) dropped 33 percent.
Nevertheless, the Secretary General also reported that the ASEAN continues to work hard to maintain optimism and cooperation and make progress in the three pillars of ASEAN, including the political pillar, the economic pillar and the socio-cultural pillar. In the future, the top priority will be the measures to ensure proper recovery foundation, restore higher productivity in the region, and create a better and more integrated ASEAN community. (SLN/UN)
Translated by: Ridwan Ibadurrohman
Reviewed by: Lulu Wuliarti