Remarks of President of the Republic of Indonesia at the International Conference on Tackling The COVID-19 Pandemic: Health, Economics, Diplomacy, and Social Perspectives Tuesday, 23 February 2021 from the Merdeka Palace, Jakarta Province
Date 23 Februari 2021
Assalamualaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.
May prosperity be upon us all,
Greetings of virtue.
Distinguished Ministers of the Indonesia Onward Cabinet;
Distinguished Chairperson of the Alumni Association of Padjadjaran University (IKA Unpad) Ibu Irawati Hermawan;
Distinguished Padjadjaran University Rector Prof. Rina Indiastuti;
Distinguished Chairperson of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) Bapak Rosan Roeslani;
Distinguished President of the Islamic Chambers of Commerce, Industry, and Agriculture His Excellency Abdullah Saleh Kamel;
Distinguished Minister of Health of the Saudi Arabia Kingdom His Excellency Tawfiq Al-Rabiah;
Distinguished Excellencies Ambassadors of Friendly Countries of the Organization for Islamic Cooperation (OKI) and other friendly countries;
Distinguished Professors of Padjadjaran University;
Ladies and Gentlemen, Esteemed Guests.
It has been about a year since we faced a big challenge, namely the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 has affected more than 110 million of the world’s population and claimed nearly 2.5 million lives due to the virus. Day by day, we and the world are learning to understand the virus and make the best policies to deal with it. At the same time, we must also strive to deal with the socio-economic impacts of this pandemic. All countries in the world bear the brunt of the pandemic’s socio-economic impacts, including Indonesia.
Every country must have taken measures to overcome the crisis. However, we must establish more accurate and detailed cooperation among countries around the world. We’re all aware that the virus knows no boundaries between countries. The world is unlikely to be completely free of the virus if there is still one country infected.
Therefore, cooperation is the most important thing so that we can tackle this pandemic. We must strengthen cooperation within each country and our cooperation with other countries. The spirit of cooperation needs to be galvanized because no one is safe until everyone is.
We should be grateful that now the vaccines are available, so vaccination has begun. The vaccines have also brought as much new hope for all of us. Many countries are racing to secure the vaccines for the sake of their people. However, let us not forget that we must continue to push for equitable access to vaccines for all countries.
Indonesia is one of the fortunate countries. Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have been moving to secure access and commitment to vaccine supply for our country, Indonesia. Our vaccine diplomacy has been running since the beginning of the pandemic, with Indonesia becoming one of the first countries in Southeast Asia to have begun vaccination program since January 2021. The national vaccination process continues until now and I hope this vaccination process will continue and be completed by the end of this year. This is indeed a tough challenge, yet we will do our best to achieve the target.
In addition to securing vaccines for national needs, we also strive at the multilateral level, contributing through international institutions. Indonesia is one of the co-chairs of the COVAX AMC Engagement Group. It is Indonesia’s determination to secure access to vaccines for national needs, but always strive to contribute to other countries, to the world. Therefore, I continue to bring the importance of equal access to vaccines to all countries up to the United Nations level.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The availability of vaccines does not mean the problems are solved. We still have to remain disciplined in implementing strict health protocols (mask-wearing, hands-washing, and physical-distancing) and constantly carry out testing, tracing, and treatment.
The Indonesian Government is currently promoting a micro-scale management strategy by involving the lowest levels of city administration, namely the neighborhood unit (RT) and the community unit (RW). Through the micro-scale handling pattern, I am convinced the rate curve for the new cases will be suppressed and the communities will also receive the necessary assistance services.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
2021 should be a momentum to rise. A year to address various opportunities, a year to transform into a new force. The world must continue to strengthen cooperation to overcome common challenges and rebound together.
That concludes my remarks, by saying bismillahirrahmanirrahiim, I officially open the International Conference on Tackling The COVID-19 Pandemic: Health, Economics, Diplomacy, and Social Perspectives.
I thank you.
Wassalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh. (SA/MUR)