Covid-19 Cooperation and Development Cooperation at Forefront of Talks between DFA Secretary Locsin and Visiting Australian Minister Seselja

 ASPAC PH Australian

PASAY CITY 12 July 2021 – The Australian Minister for International Development and the Pacific, the Hon. Senator Zed Seselja, paid a courtesy call on Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin, Jr. on 08 July 2021 to discuss COVID-19 Cooperation and Development Cooperation. The visit was undertaken under the ambit of the 75th anniversary of bilateral relations between the Philippines and Australia this year.

In welcoming Minister Seselja to the Philippines, Secretary Locsin expressed satisfaction at the deep and enduring friendship between the Philippines and Australia. They discussed closer engagement and cooperation in the areas of economic development and post-pandemic recovery.

Under its “Partnerships for Recovery'' framework, Australia has committed $35.9 million (PHP1.33 billion) in vaccine support and delivery for the Philippines, in addition to about PHP480 million worth of assistance for the Philippines’ vaccine procurement through UNICEF. Australia’s Regional Vaccine Access and Health Security Initiative, meanwhile, provides more than $500 million for the procurement of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines for the ASEAN region.

Secretary Locsin and Minister Seselja reaffirmed the convergence of interests of the two countries and committed to intensified bilateral relations covering diplomatic coordination, defense and security, the maintenance of regional peace and stability, as well as maritime cooperation, particularly in the management of protected reefs and marine resources.

The two Ministers recognized the importance of conducting the Philippines-Australia Ministerial Meeting between the Foreign Affairs and Trade Ministers of the Philippines and Australia this year, as a mechanism that institutionalizes the deepening partnership between the two countries. END