President Jokowi Pushes for Fair Access to COVID-19 Vaccine for All Countries
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo on Saturday (21/11) attended the G20 Leaders Summit virtually from the Bogor Presidential Palace, West Java province.
According to Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno LP Marsudi, the President asserted that the world is currently watching and waiting for the G20 leaders meeting to make a way out of the health and economic crises due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The world is waiting for the G20 leadership to tackle health crisis and economic downturn,” the Minister said.
The President, she added, underscored two things that must become the focus of the G20participating leaders, as follows.
First, the President emphasized the importance of health recovery budget. The President said that the world will not be recovered unless all countries are in a healthy condition and the vaccine is one of the ammunitions.
“The vaccines must be accessible and available to all countries without exception. The political commitment of the G20 countries is needed to mobilize global funding for health recovery,” she said.
Second, the President emphasized the importance of support for world economic recovery. “The President said that the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development’s (UNCTAD) has proposed financial support of US$2.5 trillion so that developing countries are able to rebuild their economy. Developing countries need fiscal space for economic recovery,” she added.
The Minister further said that the President also highlighted the importance of debt restructuring assistance for low-income countries, including the debt from large loan-providing countries. “The debt restructuring must be followed by improved loan management or sound debt management,” the Minister said.
The President also pointed out the importance of extraordinary support for fiscal, monetary, and financial sector policies. In the summit, the President also raised the issue of fiscal flexibility of developing countries that is pivotal to finance social safety net, improve domestic consumption, and drive small and medium-scale economies.
“The President also noted the UN Secretary General’s statement regarding the need for strong solidarity for developing countries. Without the assistance of the G20 countries, developing countries and Least Developed Countries (LDCs) will not easily recover from the pandemic and economic downturn,” she said.
For the record, this year’s G20 Summit held under the chairmanship of Saudi Arabia adopted the theme “Realizing Opportunities of the 21st Century for All”. The summit was chaired by King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and attended by G20 participating leaders, invited countries, and representatives of international organizations.
The summit was started with the discussion on measures to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic and to restore economic growth as well as job creation. On the second day, the summit focused on establishing an inclusive, sustainable, and resilient future. (UN) (RIF/MUR)