ASEAN-US to enhance cooperation in vaccines research and development

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KUALA LUMPUR NOV.14: The ASEAN and the United States of America (USA) need to enhance the cooperation in the field of research and development of vaccines and anti-viral medications.

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said, Malaysia emphasises that vaccines must be safe to use, affordable, accessible and equitable.

“Unfair competition and the monopoly of these vital goods must be avoided at all costs,” he said at the 8th ASEAN-US Summit held virtually for the first time in Kuala Lumpur here today.

The Summit was also participated by the Prime Minister of Socialist Republic of Vietnam, Nguyen Xuan Phuc, US National Security Advisor, Robert C. O’Brian and Prime Minister of Lao PDR, Country Coordinator of ASEAN-US Dialogue Relations, Thongloun Sisoulith.

“As ASEAN and USA share a common goal of stability, prosperity and peace, we need to even work closer together in battling the pandemic and mitigating its impact on our socio-economic development.

“Malaysia is pleased to see the continued growth in our two-way trade that has reached 294.6 billion US dollars in 2019.

“It is pertinent that both sides maintain this momentum by preserving and maintaining the open and connected supply chains for the benefit of our people especially at a time when our mobility and connectivity have somewhat been curtailed, said Hishammuddin.

Hishammuddin also raised the situation in the South China Sea and stressed that Malaysia wants it to be resolved peacefully and constructively in accordance with the universally recognised principles of international law including UNCLOS 1982.

The Foreign Affairs Minister also reiterated that the changing geopolitical landscape combined with the flourishing of the politics of hate and divide could destabilise a region and this is not needed.

“I would like to use this platform to underline the importance of common sense, rationality and cool-heads for peace, security and stability to prevail in the maritime zones at this moment,” Hishammuddin added.

On the Korean Peninsula, Hishammuddin said, Malaysia remains consistent on three matters namely the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula, adherence to relevant UN Security Council Resolutions and the resumption of dialogue between the relevant parties.
Regarding the Counter Terrorism Hishammuddin said: “We must remain vigilant, even as our efforts are focused on COVID-19 at the moment.

“Malaysia remains committed to tackling the threat of terrorism and violent extremism by addressing the root causes, strengthening policies, legal frameworks and enforcement, and this requires strengthened bilateral, regional and multilateral cooperation.” –Malaysia World News


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