Jakarta (VOI News) - The COVID-19 pandemic will leave a profound impact on the world in various fields. Rivalries between great powers are intensifying, trusts among countries are diminishing, the virtue of international cooperation is being questioned. This was conveyed by Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi in her keynote speech at the virtual 53rd ASEAN Day celebration, Saturday (8/8). She said the COVID-19 pandemic had tested the values of ASEAN solidarity and cooperation. For this reason, she invited all ASEAN Member States to continue to work together in fighting the pandemic.
"Indeed, the COVID-19 pandemic has put the ASEAN values of solidarity and cooperation to the test. But since the start of the outbreak, ASEAN has been quick to respond from sharing information to facilitating repatriation of citizen; from keeping trade moving, to helping those who are in need. Support from our external partners is also essential in building our regional health resilience and preparedness. This crisis has shown that being inward looking is not an option. Cooperation and collaboration are central to ASEAN response to the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond," said Retno Marsudi.
Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi added that ASEAN must always work together to maintain regional peace and stability and not to be dragged into the storm of geopolitical tension or being forced to choose sides. Therefore, she continued, ASEAN must remain at the forefront of turning rivalry into cooperation and turning distrust into strategic trust. (VOI / AHM)