Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) statement on coronavirus disease (COVID-19) by the Foreign Ministers of Cambodia as host nation of the 13th ASEM Summit, the EU and Germany as regional coordinators of the European group, Singapore as the regional coordinator of the ASEAN group, and Russia as the regional coordinator of the Northeast and South Asia group.
We, the Foreign Ministers of the Host of the 13th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit and the ASEM Regional Coordinators, in consultation with ASEM partners, express deep concern over the COVID-19 pandemic, which is an unparalleled global health crisis that has caused grave disruptions to the global economy, trade and travel, led to unprecedented job losses as well as impacted heavily on the lives of people and economies of ASEM partners.
We are saddened by the loss of life and suffering caused by the pandemic and express our heartfelt gratitude to and support for medical professionals, healthcare workers, and other frontline personnel, including volunteers, fighting the pandemic.
The transboundary nature of the pandemic has underscored the interconnectedness of Asia and Europe. The virus does not distinguish between continents, borders, nationalities or ethnicities. We welcome the UN Security Council’s Resolution 2532 and emphasise that the UN Secretary-General’s call for a global ceasefire should be respected. We must not allow stigmatization and discrimination, or for the pandemic to worsen existing inequality. Those in vulnerable situations must be protected, including tackling violence against women and children. We underline the primary responsibility of governments to adopt and implement responses to the COVID-19 pandemic that are specific to their national context. We call upon ASEM partners in this regard to implement national action plans by putting in place, according to their specific contexts, comprehensive, proportionate, time-bound, age-, gender- and disability-sensitive measures across governmental sectors against COVID-19, and strengthen actions to involve women’s participation in all stages of decision-making processes. No one should be left behind in the response to the pandemic.
To read the full joint press release, click here