Union Minister U Kyaw Tin participates in the video conference of the ASEAN-U.S. Special Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on COVID-19

Union Minister for International Cooperation U Kyaw Tin participated in the video conference of the ASEAN-U.S. Special Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on COVID-19 at 7:30 a.m. today from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Nay Pyi Taw.

The Meeting was co-chaired by Mr. Saleumxay KOMMASITH, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Mr. Michael Pompeo, Secretary of State of the United States. The Meeting was attended by ASEAN Foreign Ministers and the Secretary-General of ASEAN.

At the Meeting, the Ministers shared their respective national efforts and best practices in preventing the spread of COVID-19 and mitigating the socio-economic impacts posed by the global pandemic. The Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to work towards peaceful, stable and prosperous region, foster closer cooperation to advance human capital development and enhance partnership in public health. They also highlighted the need to intensify ASEAN-U.S. collaboration in addressing the challenges posed by infectious diseases including COVID-19. They emphasized the importance of sharing timely and accurate information on COVID-19 and experience and best practices in epidemiological research, clinical treatment, and development of vaccines and anti-viral medicines as well as maintaining smooth flow of trade and services particularly essential food, medicines, medical supplies and equipment, critical agricultural products and other essential commodities during the difficult time. They also discussed and exchanged views on strengthening cooperation through the existing mechanisms to address the impacts of COVID-19 and to safeguard the health and well-being of the peoples as well as deepening collaboration in the post-pandemic recovery to counter the longer term socio-economic impacts of COVID-19.

Union Minister U Kyaw Tin apprised the Meeting of national measures taken by the Government of Myanmar for the prevention, containment and treatment of COVID-19. In his statement, the Union Minister informed the Meeting, among others, that the Government has taken a whole-of-government approach mobilizing strength of the people, educating the public about the virus and seeking public participation. The Union Minister added that the Government adheres to the principle of “no one left behind” in the fight against the pandemic and has launched an intensive public awareness campaign about the virus, disseminated health guidelines and shared real time information on the virus in a timely manner to all communities throughout the country including those in the IDP camps and prisons. In addition, he mentioned that the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement has been implementing its Plan of Action for preventing, controlling and treating coronavirus infection in 128 IDP camps across the country.

With regard to strengthening of ASEAN-U.S. cooperation in the fight against COVID-19, the Union Minister stressed the need for ASEAN and the United States to collaborate more closely to enhance national and regional pandemic response capacity through strengthening of the government’s capacity, particularly enhancing the capacity of health-related professionals and provision of essential medical equipment urgently needed during this difficult time.

While appreciating the United States for its assistance to the ASEAN Member States including provision of US $ 35.3 million to combat COVID-19, the Union Minister encouraged the United States to continue its assistance in providing training for ASEAN health professionals and more scholarship for ASEAN Student to pursue public health studies in the United States. As the economic impacts of COVID-19 is likely to be significant and broad-based, he underscored the urgent need to intensify collective efforts to prevent supply chain disruption and ensure the flow of essential goods particularly medical equipment and supplies associated with combating COVID-19.

Present at the Meeting were Union Minister for Health and Sports Dr. Myint Htwe and senior officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Ministry of Health and Sports.

Dated. 23rd April 2020
Ministry of International Cooperation