Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Myanmar, Covid on ASEAN agenda

Myanmar, Covid on ASEAN agenda

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Foreign minister Prak Sokhonn during the Informal ASEAN Ministerial Meeting (IAMM) via video conference on Tuesday. Foreign ministry

Myanmar, Covid on ASEAN agenda

The ASEAN Foreign Affairs Ministers concurred on the urgency to intensify ASEAN’s joint efforts to successfully implement the agreed initiatives and measures to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic and recover from its socio-economic impact, according to a press release.

At the invitation of his Bruneian counterpart Erywan Pehin Yusof, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Prak Sokhonn took part in an informal ASEAN ministerial meeting held on March 2 via video link.

According to the foreign affairs ministry’s press release, the ministers had an extensive in-depth “heart-to-heart” discussion on the ASEAN’s progress, how to strengthen and expand the group’s external relations, and the need to consolidate centrality in the evolving regional architecture.

“Ministers also concurred on the urgency to intensify the ASEAN’s joint efforts to successfully implement the agreed initiatives and measures to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and recover from its socio-economic impact,” the press release stated.

ASEAN ministers also exchanged views on regional and international issues of common interest and concern, including current developments in Myanmar.

Cambodian Institute for Democracy’s president Pa Chanroeun said that ASEAN has a common motto: one community, one destiny. But this motto is just rhetoric, with the group not yet implementing its vision and motto.

“In connection with caring and helping each other during difficult times, including the world as well the region facing the Covid-19 pandemic and the political unrest in Myanmar [Burma], ASEAN countries adhere to the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of its members,” Chanroeun said.

Chanroeun believes that violence and human rights abuses and the democratic process in the region should be priority issues for the group because all members are signatories to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

“Violence, injustice and the decline of the democratic process in Burma [Myanmar] are a threat to the democratic process and people’s well-being of countries in the region. ASEAN members must find ways to stop it. Violence has lead to deaths in Myanmar,” he said.

Kin Phea, the director of the Royal Academy of Cambodia’s International Relations Institute, said that ASEAN countries are facing many issues in the region and the world, especially Covid-19 crisis.

He added Cambodia’s standpoint is to adhere to the principles of multilateralism, because this issue cannot be solved by a single country and requires joint cooperation.

“Covid-19 and economic recovery, in addition to relying on the principles of multilateralism, requires Cambodia to put in place its own measures, such as social and economic protection policies, health measures and public well-being is to be promoted and continued.” Phea said.

Phea said in connection to the current situation in Myanmar, Cambodia still adheres to the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of member countries. But even wanting to be involved or not, the solution requires one common voice.


  • Hun Sen: Full country reopening to be decided in two weeks

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced that if the Covid-19 situation remains stable for 15 consecutive days from the end of the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, Cambodia will reopen fully, albeit in the context of Covid-19 whereby people have to adjust their lives to

  • Phnom Penh governor: Show Covid-19 vaccination cards, or else

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng late on October 5 issued a directive requiring all people aged 18 and over and the parents of children aged 6-17 to produce Covid-19 vaccination cards when entering schools, markets, malls, marts, eateries and other business establishments that have been permitted

  • Cambodia seeks probe into 'false reports' on Hun Sen's alleged Cypriot passport

    Minister of Justice Koeut Rith on September 6 wrote a letter to his Cypriot counterpart Stephie Dracos requesting cooperation in investigating and providing the truth in relation to the "exaggerative and false allegations" that Prime Minister Hun Sen holds a Cypriot passport. In his letter, the

  • 'Pandora Papers' expose leaders' offshore millions

    More than a dozen heads of state and government, from Jordan to Azerbaijan, Kenya and the Czech Republic, have used offshore tax havens to hide assets worth hundreds of millions of dollars, according to a far-reaching new investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (

  • Cambodia voted ‘world’s friendliest country’ in Rough Guides reader poll

    Cambodia ranked number one among the “World’s Friendliest Countries”, according to a reader poll conducted by London-based international website “Rough Guides”. Taking submissions through Twitter and Facebook, “Rough Guides”, a well-known travel agency and publisher of guidebooks, said the Kingdom “was by far the

  • Two major S’ville events could jumpstart international tourism: insiders

    Preah Sihanouk province is set to host two major international tourism-related events in late 2021 and early 2022, which insiders expect to ignite new interest among new and repeat foreign holidaymakers into visiting the Kingdom and significantly raise tourist arrivals from near zero in the Covid era.