Indonesia Adopts Pro-Active Diplomacy to Secure Supply of COVID-19 Vaccines

By Office of Assistant to Deputy Cabinet Secretary for State Documents & Translation     Date 1 Juli 2021
Category: News
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Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Mahendra Siregar (Photo by: Cabinet Secretariat)

The Indonesian Government exercised pro-active diplomacy to secure the supply of COVID-19 vaccines, according to Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Mahendra Siregar.

“We are still facing severe challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic and to overcome this pandemic, the Government will continue to exert all efforts, including by improving the national vaccination drive and health protocols,” the Vice Minister said in a virtual press conference on the arrival of 998,400 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine, on Thursday (01/07), via Soekarno Hatta Airport, Tangerang, Banten.

To attain the expected results, the Vice Minister added, full support from all parties is indispensable. “In the future, all ministries, institutions, and other agencies will continue to join hands to ensure the smooth supply of vaccines, both bilaterally and multilaterally, in order to meet the target of the vaccination drive in the country,” he said.

On the occasion, Mahendra also welcomed and expressed his appreciation to Japan for sending 998,400 doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine through a bilateral cooperation scheme. This arrival is the first batch of two planned deliveries.

Mahendra said that this collaboration was a tangible result of intensive communication between the Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi and her Japanese counterpart Motegi Toshimitsu. They communicated via phone on 10 June 2021 and then continued when the two attended the G20 Foreign Ministers Meeting in Bari, Italy.

“As a follow-up plan, on 29 June, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Japanese Embassy in Jakarta signed the Exchange of Notes marking vaccine cooperation as a joint effort to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.

The arrival of the vaccine today, Mahendra said, was made possible through coordination and collaboration between Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Health, the Indonesian Food and Drug Administration (BPOM), the Japanese Embassy, ​​and various other related parties.

The Vice Minister further said that Japan is Indonesia’s strategic partner and cooperation between the two countries continues to develop, even during this challenging pandemic.

At the beginning of the pandemic, cooperation was also seen from the support of the Japanese Government in the repatriation of 69 Indonesian crew members of Diamond Princess Cruise Ship. Japan has also distributed various aids for COVID-19 handling through various international organizations, as well as provided support for the procurement of Avigan medication and mobile x-ray machines.

Meanwhile, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga in his message to President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo conveyed through the Japanese Ambassador to Indonesia Kenji Kanasugi said that the delivery of this vaccine is proof of the close friendship between both countries.

“Japan and Indonesia have always helped each other and strengthened the bonds of friendship when facing difficult conditions, such as the devastating earthquake in East Japan in 2011 as well as the earthquake and tsunami in Central Sulawesi province,” Kenji said, quoting PM Suga’s message.

Prime Minister Suga also underlined that Japan sides with Indonesia in the effort to deal with the pandemic. “We want to join hands with Indonesia, which is Japan’s strategic partner to overcome the COVID-19,” Kenji said. (SLN/UN) (FI/MUR)    

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