JAKARTA, 30 June 2020 - The Government of Canada donated N95 and medical masks for COVID-19 preventive and control measures to ASEAN Member States (AMS) and the ASEAN Secretariat, yesterday.
Ambassador of Canada to ASEAN Diedrah Kelly symbolically gave the donation to the Secretary-General of ASEAN Dato Lim Jock Hoi, in a hand-over ceremony held at ASEC. The total value of donations given to AMS and ASEC amounted to more than CAN$ 4 million.
The Permanent Representatives of Myanmar and the Philippines, Ambassador Aung Myo Myint and Ambassador Noel Servigon, witnessed the ceremony.
Dato Lim Jock Hoi expressed gratitude for Canada’s contribution to AMS COVID-19 response efforts as well as their preventive and control measures at ASEC. In his remarks, he highlighted the COVID-19 ASEAN Response Fund established by ASEAN to address both the immediate needs and long-term goals of AMS stemming from the pandemic.
He also noted that ASEAN’s response to the pandemic can only be effective and efficient through concerted, harmonised and well-orchestrated cooperation with its partners, including Canada.
On her part, Ambassador Kelly underlined that the COVID-19 virus knows no borders, and that the pandemic “has been a wake-up call for the world to stand in solidarity and work together.”
She further stressed the significance of multilateralism and that ASEAN and Canada’s cooperation has proven to be more meaningful and responsive in the region’s fight against COVID-19.
She commended Canada and the ASEAN Health Sector’s strong cooperation since 2013, in mitigating the region’s biological threats through technical assistance and CAN$ 14 million funding support for health security initiatives.
Canada’s current support resulted in institutionalising regional health mechanisms which proved to be useful for the COVID-19 public health emergency response coordination.
Furthermore, she informed that Canada provided vital diagnostic kits in nuclear-derived detection techniques to International Atomic Energy Agency and contributed CAN$ 40 million to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations to support COVID-19 vaccine development and research.
Ambassador Aung Myo Myint, current country coordinator for Canada, pointed out that the country’s support to ASEAN is a testament to the living and dynamic partnership that has spanned over 43 productive years.
He noted that the hand-over ceremony is also a manifestation of ASEAN’s commitment to deepen and strengthen cooperation with Dialogue and Development Partners, and various stakeholders, to control the spread of COVID-19 and to mitigate its adverse impact on people’s livelihoods, economies and societies.
The current Plan of Action (2016-2020) has guided cooperation between ASEAN and Canada and noted significant growth and output. Moving forward, both parties are looking forward to the adoption of new ASEAN-Canada Plan of Action (2021-2025) to further strengthen partnership through shared priorities and placing greater emphasis on collaborative efforts.
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