COVID-19 Vaccines Must Be Accessible for All Countries, Foreign Minister Says
Date 10 Juni 2020
Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno L.P Marsudi on Tuesday (9/6) attended the Ministerial Coordination Group on COVID-19 (MCGC) meeting through video conference.
The meeting adopts the theme “The Importance of Vaccine Development to Fight COVID-19 Pandemic”.
Retno was joined by seven other Ministers of Foreign Affairs from Singapore, the Philippines, Republic of Korea, Australia, Canada, Peru, and Morocco.
On that occasion, the Indonesian Minister pointed out three main things related to collaboration on COVID-19 vaccine development.
First, it is necessary to create a fair mechanism based on scientific studies in terms of vaccine distribution once the vaccine has been discovered, including ensuring equal access to vaccines for certain countries. It is also important to calculate virus risks from spreading again if there are several countries that cannot afford the vaccines.
Second, it is necessary to ensure knowledge transfer from vaccine producers to every country for smooth acceleration in production capacity, including adjustments to the rules contained in Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) and patent rights policy on social responsibility.
“Flexibility is required in intellectual property regulation, including arrangements in Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights to encourage development of affordable vaccines. The patent rights policy should also take into account social responsibility, especially during the pandemic,” Retno said.
Third, it is necessary to boost more international cooperation in terms of vaccine development and production.
Retno went on to say that synergy at the national and international levels is important.
“Monopolizing vaccines must be avoided,” she said, adding that Indonesia has a national consortium with a multi-stakeholder partnership and a national vaccine research team to speed up vaccine development.
In addition, she added, Indonesia is also developing potential cooperation with a number of international partners using DNA sequencing and inactive virus platforms. Indonesia is also calling for collaboration with other international partners to mitigate the pandemic, she added.
“We strongly encourage global collaboration from manufacturing, research, and others from stakeholders to accelerate the development of the COVID-19 vaccine,” Retno said.
For the record, the Ministerial Coordination Group on COVID-19 (MCGC) meeting is a ministerial level meeting on international cooperation in handling the COVID-19 pandemic.
The meeting is expected to strengthen inclusive cooperation, trust between countries, and the spirit of multilateralism in facing COVID-19 pandemic. (Ministry of Foreign Affairs/EN)
Translated by: Syarifah Aisyah
Reviewed by: M. Ersan Pamungkas