PM Lee Hsien Loong to attend 3-day virtual ASEAN summits with Covid-19

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From Tuesday (Oct 26) to Thursday (Oct 31), Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will meet with global and regional leaders digitally for the second year in a row at the Asean summits and associated events.
The meetings, which are usually held every two years, have been combined this year under the theme “We Care, We Prepare, We Prosper,” focusing on pandemic recovery efforts.
ASEAN leaders will discuss how the group, in collaboration with external partners and the international community, can continue to build more resilient public health systems, supply chains, and economies that can emerge from the strengthened Covid19. Pandemic and be better prepared for future crises, according to a statement released Monday by the Prime Minister’s Office.
“They will also share regional and international developments, as well as efforts to strengthen regional cooperation, strengthen ASEAN’s centrality, and promote peace and stability,” he added. ASEAN Centrality is a term used to refer to the fact that the grouping is central to developments in the region and has a decisive voice.
Also in the spotlight is Asean’s decision to invite an apolitical representative from Myanmar to attend this week’s meetings in place of the head of the board, Min Aung Hlaing. The general was in charge of a February coup and following crackdowns that resulted in the deaths of over 1,000 people and the imprisonment of tens of thousands more.
ASEAN has been under increasing international pressure to adopt a harder stance on Myanmar’s failure to follow through on an earlier pledge to cease the violence, allow humanitarian access, and engage in discussion with opposition groups. The decision to expel Senior General Min Aung Hlaing went against the group’s ideals of non-interference and consensus.
The three-day sessions are scheduled to continue discussions on Myanmar’s situation, chaired by Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, whose nation now holds the rotating ASEAN presidency. They will include leaders from across the world.
ASEAN leaders will meet with South Korea, China, the United States, Japan, and Australia on Tuesday and Wednesday.

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