Union Minister U Wunna Maung Lwin co-chairs ASEAN-Canada Ministerial Meeting and participates in ASEAN-New Zealand Ministerial Meeting

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The ASEAN-Canada Ministerial Meeting was held yesterday morning at 7:30 am via videoconference. The meeting was Co-Chaired by Union Minister for Foreign Affairs U Wunna Maung Lwin and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada Honorable Marc Garneau. Foreign Ministers and their representative from the ASEAN Member States and the Secretary-General of ASEAN also attended the Meeting.
At the opening remarks, Union Minister for Foreign Affairs noted the progress made in the ASEAN-Canada Dialogue Relations and that ASEAN hoped to deepen cooperation in many other areas to strengthen partnership with Canada. He also said that both ASEAN and Canada struggled against COVID-19 and thanked Canada for supporting the ASEAN’s COVID-19 Response Initiatives, especially for supporting the COVID-19 ASEAN Response Fund. He hoped that Canada will deepen cooperation not only across the three community pillars but also in other important areas such as health care and digital technology which were important for ASEAN and Canada, especially for the CLMV countries. He also delivered the ASEAN Common Statement on behalf of ASEAN Member States.
ASEAN Foreign Ministers and the Secretary-General of ASEAN also made their remarks at the Meeting.
The meeting concluded with closing remarks by Foreign Ministers of Canada, Myanmar and Malaysia as the new country coordinator for ASEAN-Canada Dialogue Relations for 2021 to 2024. Union Minister in his closing remarks said that the candid discussions they have had would continue to pave the way to step up ASEAN-Canada Dialogue Relation and that the Meeting looked forward to working closely with Canada for peace, stability and prosperity in the region and beyond with shared interests and possible areas of collaboration. He also said that Myanmar and Canada have had a very long-standing relationship and hoped that Canada will also work with Myanmar in Myanmar’s efforts. On five-point consensus, Union Minister informed that Myanmar had welcomed the proposal of Brunei Darussalam, as the ASEAN Chair, to appoint Dato Erywan Pehin Yusof, Minister of Foreign Affairs II of Brunei Darussalam as the special envoy and that he looked forward to working closely with him as Minister of Foreign Affairs II as well as in his capacity as the special envoy.
Union Minister also attended the ASEAN-New Zealand Ministerial Meeting which was held shortly after the ASEAN-Canada Ministerial Meeting. The Meeting was co-chaired by Prak Sokhonn, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Cambodia and Nanaia Mahuta, Minister for Foreign Affairs of New Zealand. During the meeting, Union Minister appreciated New Zealand’s consistent support to narrowing the development gaps within ASEAN, particularly through Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI), encouraged ASEAN and New Zealand to enhance cooperation for the promotion of people to people exchange, capacity building and human capacity development in post-pandemic. The Minister acknowledged New Zealand’s contribution in response to COVID-19 and reiterated to enhance the regional economic recovery.
At 3:00 pm, Union Minister attended the conferment ceremony on accepting the United Kingdom as ASEAN Dialogue Partner held via videoconference.
U Chan Aye, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, participated in the 1st Friends of the Mekong Ministerial Meeting held in the evening today. The meeting was chaired by the United States with the participation of Representatives of FOM members; Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Viet Nam, Australia, Japan, Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Asian Development Bank (ADB), European Union (EU), Mekong River Commission Secretariat (MRC), World Bank (WB), and ASEAN Secretary-General. India and United Kingdom also participated as observers. In the statement, Permanent Secretary U Chan Aye recalled the objectives of the FOM mechanism which is to make coordination in assisting in the development of the Mekong Region and pointed out to respect rules in the implementation process of cooperation based on the principles of Mekong-US Partnership such as the principle of mutual respect and non-interference. He also suggested the importance to produce tangible benefits from the FOM mechanism in particular of promoting equitable access to COVID-19 vaccine for countries that are facing a spike in the cases, post-pandemic economic recovery and addressing non-traditional challenges.
Senior Officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs also attended these meetings and ceremonies.—MNA

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