President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. today joined leaders of the Association of Southeast Nations (ASEAN) member states and the ASEAN Secretary General for the annual U.S.-ASEAN Summit. He reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to strengthening our partnership with ASEAN as well as to its centrality and applauded the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific.
The President underscored the enduring commitment of the United States to the region and pledged to deepen our cooperation to take on the challenges of our time, which includes working with our allies and partners to defend against threats to the international rules-based order and to promote a free and open Indo-Pacific.
The President announced the intent to provide up to $102 million in new initiatives to expand the U.S.-ASEAN Strategic Partnership to support the region’s recovery from COVID-19, address the climate crisis, promote economic growth, and develop human capital. Additionally, President Biden underlined the importance of the strategic partnership between the United States and ASEAN, highlighting new efforts to expand high-level U.S.-ASEAN cooperation in health, climate, energy, transportation, and gender empowerment. He reiterated the U.S. commitment to ending the COVID-19 pandemic and building back better to prepare for the next, including making available more than 40 million vaccine doses and more than $200 million in emergency health and humanitarian assistance to ASEAN member states to fight COVID-19. He urged bold action to strengthen health systems and health security, mitigate the climate crisis and reaffirmed U.S. support to build back better and drive a green recovery.
He also expressed grave concerns about the military coup and horrific violence in Burma and called on the country’s military regime to immediately end the violence, release those unjustly detained, and restore Burma’s path to democracy. He expressed support for ASEAN efforts to hold the Burmese military regime accountable to the Five Point Consensus.