President Jokowi Urges Vaccination Equity, SDGs Funding during 78th UNESCAP Session
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo conveyed a number of views during the opening session of the 78th Commission Session of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), Monday (05/23), virtually from the Merdeka Palace, Jakarta.
First, President Jokowi noted that the handling of the pandemic must continue and the vaccination gap in the Asia Pacific region must be closed.
According to the President, the Asia Pacific region has countries with the highest and the lowest vaccination achievements in the world. Therefore, this gap must be removed immediately considering the importance of successful vaccination in determining the restoration of the national economy and connectivity with the global economy.
“The UNESCAP can support the establishment of a network of regional vaccine production and distribution facilities, overcome logistical challenges, and shorten supply chains,” said the President.
Second, the President addressed that funding for the acceleration of sustainable development goals or SDGs must be strengthened. According to him, the Asian Development Bank estimates that it will take US$1.5 trillion annually to ensure the SDGs are achieved in Asia Pacific by 2030, but the availability of global funding is only US$1.4 trillion.
“This huge gap must be closed. Private sector investment must be encouraged,” said the President.
The President added that although Asia Pacific is the largest area for foreign investment, inbound and outbound, the investment value to the region itself is still small. For this reason, the UNESCAP needs to encourage the strengthening of intra-regional investment, support ease of doing business, promotion, and business matching among member countries.
“Innovative funding needs to be promoted. The UNESCAP collaboration with the ADB and other funding institutions is highly expected. Indonesia itself promotes various innovative funding including SDG Indonesia One, green sukuk, and the carbon economy,” said the President.
Third, the President expressed that digitalization, MSMEs empowerment, and green growth are a shared future that must be optimized and continuously improved. To that end, he encourages these new sources of growth to continue to be strengthened.
“Support for green growth efforts is needed, including the energy transition. Tax capacity needs to be strengthened, including carbon tax,” said the President.
President Jokowi also expressed appreciation for the UNESCAP’s support and contribution. Through the G20 Presidency, Indonesia will fight for the interests of developing countries, especially in the fields of health, digital transformation, and energy transition.
“By working together, we can accelerate the recovery of the region and the world towards a sustainable future. Recover Together, Recover Stronger,” he said. (FID/AIT/UN) (EST/MMB)