KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 19 — ASEAN Defence Ministers are committed to work together to manage COVID-19 infections which are affecting the well-being of people and economic development as well as regional security and stability.
In a joint statement issued after the ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting (ADMM) in Hanoi, Vietnam today, member countries reaffirmed their commitment towards promoting defence cooperation, including in military medicine cooperation and information sharing, to ensure a peaceful, safe and stable environment.
The ministers agreed to leverage on the Network of ASEAN Chemical, Biological and Radiological Defence Experts to enhance professional linkages, and promote scientific cooperation to manage infectious disease outbreaks.
“We (ASEAN Defence Ministers) hereby resolve to remain resolutely committed towards doing our part and staying united to overcome the COVID-19 outbreak for the benefit of the people of ASEAN,” the statement said.
In dealing with COVID-19, the ministers urged strong collaboration through various fora including the ASEAN Centre for Military Medicine; ASEAN Chiefs of Military Medicine Conference; ASEAN Military Medicine Conference as well as the cooperation with their external partners within the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting-Plus (ADMM-Plus) Experts’ Working Group on Military Medicine.
The statement also encouraged new initiatives and ways of cooperation, contributing to ASEAN’s overall efforts to counter fake news regarding COVID-19 infection and ensure the people are well informed of the situation.
The ASEAN Defence Ministers also expressed their deepest sympathies to the countries, communities and individuals impacted by the outbreak.