Asean Plus Three ‘effective platform’ to address COVID-19 – Duterte
MANILA, Philippines — The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Plus Three has been an “effective platform” to address COVID-19, among other issues, President Rodrigo Duterte said.
The Asean Plus Three (APT) comprises the region’s 10 member states, China, Japan, and Korea.
“Our region remains in the grip of COVID-19, with the added challenge of new variants pushing back whatever gains we have achieved so far,” Duterte said during the 24th APT Summit on Wednesday.
“The Asean Plus Three has proven to be an effective platform for our concerted efforts to address this health crisis and other pressing issues,” he added.
Duterte noted that “achieving full socio-economic recovery” of the APT is on top of the agenda.
“We have to ramp up our capabilities against COVID-19 and future public health emergencies,” he said.
The chief executive likewise pointed out that creating the APT Reserve of Medical Supplies for Public Health Emergencies “is a strategic move” to guarantee that the nations are better prepared for future outbreaks.
“We welcome the development of a new APT Work Plan. It must reflect lessons learned from the pandemic, build on past gains, and identify new areas of cooperation,” Duterte said.
The president expressed appreciation to China, Japan, and Korea for their support “in promoting financial stability in the region through the Asean COVID-19 Response Fund and the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralization Agreement.”
Speaking virtually at the Malacañang Palace, Duterte joined his fellow Asean leaders for the 38th and 39th Asean Summits and related summits held on October 26 to 28.
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