US President Joe Biden announced $102 million in new programmes to deepen cooperation with ASEAN on covid-19 recovery and health security, climate change, economic growth, and other areas for the US-ASEAN summit, according to the White House.

According to White House spokesman Jen Psaki, US President Joe Biden will welcome leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) for a conference in Washington on May 12 and 13.

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“The Special Summit will demonstrate the United States’ enduring commitment to ASEAN, recognizing its central role in delivering sustainable solutions to the region’s most pressing challenges, and commemorate 45 years of U.S.-ASEAN relations,” Psaki said in a statement released by the White House.

“It will build on President Biden’s participation in the October 2021 U.S.-ASEAN Summit, where the President announced $102 million in new initiatives to expand our engagement with ASEAN on COVID-19 recovery and health security, fighting the climate crisis, stimulating broad-based economic growth, promoting gender equality, and deepening people-to-people ties,” the White House representative went on to say.

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According to a White House official, the Biden administration prioritised serving as a dependable and strong partner in South East Asia.

The conference is taking place against the backdrop of Russia’s and Ukraine’s ongoing war, which has now entered its 51st day. The meeting may include discussions about the situation in Ukraine and Europe.

The United States began collaborating with ASEAN as a dialogue partner in 1977 and has continued to do so to this day. Development cooperation developed substantially beginning in the early 1990s with the creation of economic initiatives focusing on trade and investment, technology transfer, and education.

Southeast Asia is one of the world’s fastest-growing and most dynamic regions. The region thrives because its countries collaborate. The United States will continue to be a strong, loyal, and engaged partner in the area, and it is investing diplomatic, public diplomacy, military, and assistance resources in proportion to its overall commitment. The US continues to place a premium on economic development, energy cooperation, people-to-people exchanges, youth, and education.

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In 2008, the United States was the first non-ASEAN government to appoint an Ambassador to ASEAN. The United States was the first non-ASEAN country to establish a dedicated Mission to ASEAN in Jakarta in June 2010, and the first resident Ambassador to ASEAN was nominated in 2011. Ambassador Nina Hachigian commenced her duties on November 3, 2014, after presenting her credentials to ASEAN Secretary General Le Luong Minh.