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Regional Cooperation Promoted in Southeast Asia

Several health ministers meetings to consider the rising health emergencies and crisis in Southeast Asia and worldwide over the past two days have helped// to promote closer regional cooperation.

The first day of the regional meeting saw the attempts for development of sustainable programs for Southeast Asian regional cooperation during the ASEAN meeting. The theme of the 8th ASEAN Health Ministers Meeting was the ‘ASEAN Unity in Health Emergencies’ and it was attended by more than 100 delegates from the 10-nation ASEAN and its dialogue partners -- China, Japan and South Korea.

The meeting called for increased cooperation and coordination among nations as well as solidarity, unity and resilience in facing the challenges such as the spread of bird flu, Tsunami caused by underwater earthquake on Dec. 26, 2004, and subsequent possible outbreak of human influenza pandemic as well as the devastating earthquake in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

The second day of the ASEAN+3 health ministers meeting discussed joint initiatives in dealing with health emergencies as a central theme of the meeting.

The ASEAN+3 health ministers also laid down the second phase strategic framework of emerging infectious diseases (EID) program of the ASEAN+3 which would provide the ASEAN+3 countries with better opportunities to share and exchange information, expertise and experience in combating threats to the health and security of their peoples

The health ministers have also reaffirmed their commitment for closer collaboration in addressing key priorities for health development policy coordination especially concerning international health regulations.

A regional initiative that would bring together trade, health and other relevant policy-makers was also planned by the ASEAN+3 ministers.

The ASEAN+3 ministers agreed to cooperate in combating communicative diseases including HIV and EID.

This meeting was followed by the ASEAN-China health ministers meeting, which was to further the cooperative ties between the ASEAN and China in the sector of health.


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