— Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister, H.E. Prak Sokhonn, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation expressed satisfaction with the progress of the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework (ACRF) implementation, and reiterated the importance of the effective monitoring and evaluation framework, as well as guidelines for engaging various stakeholders and external partners who wish to support this Framework.

He made the point at the 30th ASEAN Coordinating Council (ACC) Meeting held on Oct. 4, 2021 via videoconference, according to a press release of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation issued this morning.

H.E. Prak Sokhonn urged for the early finalisation of the host-country selection and establishment of the ASEAN Centre for Public Health Emergencies and Emerging Diseases (ACPHEED), to contribute to enhancing regional health system which is the first among the five broad strategic areas of the ACRF.

H.E. Prak Sokhonn underlined the importance of the ASEAN Travel Corridor Arrangement Framework (ATCAF)’s implementation to allow travel and business activities across the region to gradually return to normalcy, without compromising on public health safety, and looked forward to the early establishment of a Permanent Task Force to start its operation.

On Timor-Leste’s bid for ASEAN membership, H.E. Deputy Prime Minister reiterated Cambodia’s support for Timor-Leste’s application, and encouraged the ASEAN Economic Community and the ASEAN Social-Cultural Community pillars to expedite their respective Fact-finding Missions so that ASEAN can come up with the roadmap and timelines for Timor-Leste’s accession to the grouping. He also expressed support on further engagement with Timor-Leste in various capacity building programmes within the ASEAN frameworks.

In the meeting, the ASEAN Foreign Ministers discussed preparations for the 38th and 39th ASEAN Summits and Its Related Summits scheduled to take place from Oct. 26 to 28, 2021.

The Ministers agreed to channel more resources toward the full and effective implementation of ASEAN’s key initiatives in response to COVID-19 pandemic, in particular ACRF, the establishment of the ASEAN Centre for Public Health Emergencies and Emerging Diseases (ACPHEED), and ASEAN Regional Reserve of Medical Supplies for Public Health Emergencies (ARRMS), among others. They shared their views on the need to expedite priority tasks such as in re-opening safe and secure cross-border travels across the region, enhancing connectivity, digital economy, and innovation.

The Ministers recognized that the ATCAF and the ARRMS are crucial for gradually returning the region to the state of normalcy, and to boost ASEAN’s preparedness for future regional health crises. In this regard, the Ministers encouraged early operationalisation of these two initiatives.

Source: Agency Kampuchea Press

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