This commitment was made during the 10th ASEAN-Australia Joint Cooperation Committee (AA-JCC) Meeting held via video conference on Tuesday, June 2, 2020.
Noting that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected all countries across the region, ASEAN and Australia recognised the need to boost cooperation to help minimise the human and social costs of covid-19 and to support economic recovery by focusing on health security and in building a stable and prosperous Indo-Pacific region.
The meeting also reaffirmed the need to promote measures to support a rules-based multilateral trading system and to maintain vital supply chains including through the conclusion of the Regional Comprehensive Partnership (RCEP), the upgrade of the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area (AANZFTA) agreement, as well as support for the World Trade Organisation reform.
During the meeting, both sides reviewed cooperation under the ASEAN-Australia Plan of Action (2015-2019) and underscored that the full implementation of the Plan of Action is a testimony to the depth and breadth of ASEAN-Australia strategic relations.
"Both sides reaffirmed their commitment to further enhance cooperation through the effective implementation of the new ASEAN-Australia Plan of Action (2020-2024)," the ASEAN Secretariat said in a press release on Wednesday, June 3, 2020.
In addition, the Ambassador-level meeting exchanged views on the future direction of ASEAN-Australia Dialogue Relations and noted the importance of enhancing cooperation in areas of mutual interest, such as health security, cybersecurity, counter-terrorism, maritime cooperation, and women, peace and security agenda.
Human rights, trade and investment through the AANZFTA, digital trade standards, infrastructure and supply chain, smart cities, people-to-people links, education, technical and vocational education and training, connectivity and the Initiative for ASEAN Integration are also areas of cooperation that will be further enhanced.
The meeting looked forward to the convening of an ad hoc ASEAN-Australia Foreign Ministers’ video conference on covid-19 in the near future.
The AA-JCC meeting was co-chaired by Ambassador Kamsiah Kamaruddin, Permanent Representative of Malaysia to ASEAN and Ambassador Jane Duke, Australian Ambassador to ASEAN. It was participated in by the Permanent Representatives to ASEAN or their representatives, officials from the ASEAN Member States and Australian Mission to ASEAN and the ASEAN Secretariat.