JAKARTA, 10 September 2020 – Today, ASEAN Secretary-General Dato Lim Jock Hoi and US Agency for International Development (USAID) Principal Officer to ASEAN Ryan Washburn signed the Regional Development Cooperation Agreement (RDCA) between ASEAN and the United States of America.
The RDCA will contribute to strengthening ties and continuing links of friendship between ASEAN and the United States, advancing sustainable and inclusive growth and development. It will encourage rule-based systems in support of a peaceful, secure and prosperous ASEAN, in line with the ASEAN Community Vision 2025, the ASEAN-U.S. Plan of Action (2021-2025) and the Joint Statement of the ASEAN-U.S. Special Summit.
In his opening remarks, Dato Lim Jock Hoi said, “the U.S. shall continue to be one of ASEAN’s key dialogue partners in our Community building efforts. We look forward to the implementation of projects and programmes to be supported by the RDCA in response to our current and emerging challenges.”
He thanked the U.S. Government, through the USAID and the U.S. Mission to ASEAN, for its support to the on-going initiatives and the future programmes under the RDCA.
On his part, Washburn noted, “this new five-year agreement between USAID and ASEAN, with a value of up to $50 million, underscores the U.S. commitment to regional development, ASEAN Centrality, and the shared goals of regional integration and rules-based governance to promote peace, security and prosperity in ASEAN.”
The RDCA will serve as an umbrella framework for all the on-going and future ASEAN-US cooperation programmes to address regional and global challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic, human trafficking and forced labour, access to the digital economy, and coordinated responses to natural disasters.
The signing ceremony took place at the ASEAN Secretariat during the side lines of the ASEAN – US Ministerial Meeting, marking another milestone of the ASEAN – US strategic partnership and development cooperation.