Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, State Counsellor of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar participated in the 23rd ASEAN Plus Three (APT) Summit and 15th East Asia Summit (EAS) which were held via videoconference yesterday from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Nay Pyi Taw.

The 23rd ASEAN Plus Three Summit was chaired by Mr Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam in his capacity as the Chair of ASEAN in 2020 and attended by Leaders of ASEAN Member States, the People’s Republic of China, Japan and the Republic of Korea. At the Meeting, the APT Leaders discussed and exchanged views on future direction of the APT cooperation as well as regional and international issues.

The APT Leaders underscored the importance of the APT cooperation towards the long-term goal of building an East Asia community with ASEAN as the driving force. The Leaders also emphasized the need to strengthen APT collaboration in advancing the post-pandemic regional recovery, and enhance the role of APT cooperation in effective control and containment of the COVID-19 pandemic. They also acknowledged the importance of the APT cooperation in maintaining and enhancing peace, security, stability and development in East Asia, and reaffirmed their commitment to strengthen dialogue and cooperation to address non-traditional security issues such as trafficking in persons, terrorism and violent extremism.

In her statement, State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi expressed her appreciation on the growing strength of solidarity among the APT countries amid the raging pandemic, fraying economies and shifting geo-strategic dynamics. The State Counsellor also emphasized the importance of revitalizing the healthcare systems to be better prepared to address the ongoing and future public health emergencies, and highlighted the need to continue stronger policy coordination and practical cooperation for economic and financial resilience through implementing the Plan of Action on COVID-19, strengthening the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralization (CMIM) and restoring essential commodity supply chains and a gradual resumption of normal travel in the APT region. As the success of the APT’s efforts to overcome and recover from the pandemic will largely depend on peace and stability of the region, she stressed the need to continue strengthening cooperation to address the non-traditional security issues articulated in the APT Cooperation Work Plan 2018-2022.

The 15th East Asia Summit (EAS) was also chaired by Mr Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam in his capacity as the Chair of ASEAN in 2020 and attended by Leaders of ASEAN Member States, Australia, the People’s Republic of China, India, Japan, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation, the United States of America and their representatives. At the Meeting, the EAS Leaders discussed and exchanged views on future direction of EAS cooperation as well as regional and international issues.

In commemorating the 15th anniversary of the establishment of the EAS, the EAS Leaders reaffirmed their commitment to further strengthening the EAS as the premier Leaders-led forum for dialogue and cooperation on broad strategic, political, and economic issues of common concern. Recognizing the importance of fair and equitable access to effective drugs and vaccines in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Leaders also reiterated their commitment to facilitating equitable access to quality, affordable, safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines.

In her intervention, State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi acknowledged the significant contribution of the EAS forum to the promotion of peace, stability and prosperity in ASEAN and the broader region through strategic dialogues and practical cooperation in areas of mutual interest and concern. The State Counsellor highlighted the importance of strengthening the positive momentum of free, frank and friendly dialogue among participating countries in order to build greater mutual trust and mutual understanding. She also stressed the need to intensify practical cooperation under the Manila Plan of Action of the East Asia Summit for early, inclusive and sustainable recovery from COVID-19 and long term resilience to future crises.

In response to the remarks made by some EAS Leaders on Rakhine State, the State Counsellor stated that we share those concerns with regard to Rakhine State. She stressed that Myanmar Government will spare no efforts to bring peace, stability and development for all communities in Rakhine especially under these very difficult circumstances like COVID-19. She added that despite all the challenges facing Myanmar, we want to make progress with regard to justice and human rights everywhere in our country. She concluded by saying that Myanmar looks forward to continue working closely with all EAS Participating Countries to maintain peace, stability and prosperity in the region and throughout the world.

On behalf of the State Counsellor, Union Minister for Investment and Foreign Economic Relations U Thaung Tun participated in the ASEAN Plus Three (APT) Leaders’ Interface with Representatives of East Asia Business Council (EABC) held via videoconference. Likewise, the State Counsellor was represented by Union Minister for International Cooperation U Kyaw Tin at the 8th ASEAN-US Summit, ASEAN- New Zealand Commemorative Summit and Second ASEAN-Australia Biennial Summit which were held via videoconference. During the ASEAN Summits with its Dialogue Partners, the Leaders discussed and exchanged views on future cooperation as well as regional and international issues.

During the 8th ASEAN-US Summit, the United States announced Billion Future Scholars’ Framework aimed at bringing more ASEAN students to the United States. New Zealand also announced its commitment to contribute 1 million to COVID-19 ASEAN Response Fund, 12 million to support pandemic response, 24 million for sustainable livelihood in the region, 10 million for climate resilient smart agriculture and 5 million for water management to Mekong River Commission at the ASEAN- New Zealand Commemorative Summit. During the Second ASEAN-Australia Biennial Summit, Australia also expressed its commitment to provide 500 million dollars to support access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines for the Southeast Asia and the Pacific Region.

Together with the State Counsellor, Union Minister for Investment and Foreign Economic Relations U Thaung Tun and Union Minister for International Cooperation U Kyaw Tin were present at the 23rd ASEAN Plus Three (APT) Summit and 15th East Asia Summit (EAS).