Cambodia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation H.E. Prak Sokhonn, participated in the ASEAN-U.S. Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, which was held via videoconference on Sept. 23, on the sidelines of the 76th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA).

The following is the outcomes of the meeting released this morning by the Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation:

The Outcomes of the ASEAN-U.S. Foreign Ministers’ Meeting

On 23rd September 2021, via Video Conference.

On 23 September 2021, His Excellency Deputy Prime Minister PRAK Sokhonn, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Kingdom of Cambodia, participated in the ASEAN-U.S. Foreign Ministers’ Meeting via videoconference, which was held on the sidelines of the 76th UNGA. The Meeting was co-chaired by H.E. Mrs. Retno Marsudi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia as Country Coordinator for ASEAN-U.S. Dialogue Relations, and H.E. Mr. Antony Blinken, Secretary of State of the United States of America.

The Meeting discussed the fight against Covid-19 pandemic, ASEAN-U.S. cooperation, and regional and international issues of common interest and concern, including cooperation to address transboundary issues such as climate change.

On ASEAN-U.S. relations, ASEAN emphasised the importance of upholding multilateralism, ASEAN Centrality, and appreciated the U.S’ role in regional development and integration, and ASEAN Community building efforts through regional and sub-regional initiatives.

ASEAN noted the U.S.’ commitment to work with ASEAN to advance regional peace and prosperity in line with the principles outlined in the ASEAN Outlook on Indo-Pacific (AOIP) and underlined the need to enhance cooperation in the four strategic areas of the AOIP. ASEAN welcomed the U.S.’ proposal to expand ASEAN-U.S. engagement in the areas of transportation, gender equality, women’s empowerment, energy, environmental protection and climate change, and looked forward to having joint activities in the near future.

ASEAN Foreign Ministers and the U.S. Secretary of State agreed to strengthen ASEAN-U.S. cooperation to combat the COVID-19 pandemic as well as its far-reaching impacts and to bolster public health in the region and ensure a robust economic recovery. ASEAN expressed appreciation for the U.S.’ commitment to a comprehensive set of actions towards ending the global pandemic, as well as the provision of more than 23 million vaccine doses and nearly US$160 million in emergency health and humanitarian assistance to ASEAN Member States and the USAID’s efforts to assist ASEAN in developing an ASEAN Public Health Emergency Coordination System. ASEAN and the U.S. shared the view that vaccines should not be used as a political tool, and it is necessity to enhance equitable access to vaccines and expedite vaccination around the globe.

The Meeting expressed support for the proposed ASEAN-U.S. Leaders’ Statement on Digital Development to be adopted at the 9th ASEAN-U.S. Summit in October 2021, which would strengthen ASEAN’s preparedness for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) and support ASEAN’s efforts in bridging the digital divide and ICT development gaps within ASEAN.

The Meeting also exchanged views on a number of regional and international issues with significant bearing on regional peace, stability and security, including the situation in Myanmar and concern over major powers’ relations and rivalries.

During the Meeting, His Excellency Deputy Prime Minister Prak Sokhonn thanked the U.S. for its significant contribution to the fight against COVID-19, including in Cambodia. He expressed optimism that ASEAN and the U.S. could soon put an end to COVID-19 pandemic to enable safe resumption of travel, business and economic exchanges, not only within ASEAN, but also between ASEAN and the U.S. and with the rest of the world.

On regional and international issues, His Excellency Deputy Prime Minister shared concern over the negative implications from the increasing complexities and escalation of geopolitical rivalries.

Source: Agency Kampuchea Press

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