Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh (middle) delivers remarks at the Joint SBV-IMF High-level Conference themed themed “Securing Growth and Resilience in the ASEAN: Policies for the Post-COVID-19 World” held virtually on November 10, 2020. Photo: VGP
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the conference, Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh said the COVID-19 pandemic has taken a million lives and infected more than 50 million people around the world.
The pandemic has created not only a health crisis, but also a global economic crisis and a social crisis.
The hard-won development gains in many countries have been reversed while tens of millions of people have fallen into poverty and implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals has been driven even further off track, Minh stressed.
Despite these multiple crises, countries around the world have shown strength, resilience and innovation and governments have come together and strengthen their policy coordination and cooperation at regional and global levels.
At regional level, ASEAN presented an excellent example as it has been quick to take actions, backed by the highest level of political commitment.
Many initiatives have been put forward like the establishment of the ASEAN COVID-19 Response Fund, the ASEAN Regional Reserve of Medical Supplies, and the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for Public Health Emergencies.
The region has been implementing the Comprehensive Recovery Framework and the Ha Noi Plan of Action on Strengthening ASEAN Economic Cooperation and Supply Chain Connectivity in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Minh highlighted that all these efforts have enabled ASEAN to continue making progress in our community building efforts, and build a more cohesive and responsive ASEAN.
Regarding the way ahead, Minh expressed his belief that “we will not be able recover and build forward better unless we address structural and emerging challenges, in particular inequalities and climate change”.
He called for the international community to work elbow-to-elbow to guarantee the provision of global public goods, especially vaccine and treatment, to all countries, and to ensure the effective and coordinated functioning of the international trade and financial systems.
Minh hoped that the participants to the conference would discuss policy solutions and recommendations that would provide valuable inputs for Viet Nam and ASEAN countries as we devise our post-COVID strategies for growth and resilience.
IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said ASEAN’s strong cooperation spirit and its efforts in overcoming the consequences of the COVID-19 crisis have been widely recognized by the international community.
She expressed her belief that the ASEAN Way will be a source of inspirations to foster global cooperation for a better world.
Following the opening ceremony, the participants deliberated on policy responses during and after the pandemic./.
By Quang Minh