Remarks of President of the Republic of Indonesia on Global Health Summit 2021, 21 May 2021, Bogor Presidential Palace, West Java Province
Since our last meeting six months ago, there has been no sign of the end of COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr Tedros as Director General of the WHO (World Health Organization) has reported that in the second year of the pandemic, the impact may be more deadly than that in the first year.
The spread of COVID-19 new variants has now posed a new challenge for the world. At the same time, there remains a wide global vaccine access disparity.
When some countries are vaccinating low-risk groups, namely children and young people, only 0.3 percent of vaccine supplies are available for low-income countries.
The gap is clearly visible in that 83 percent of global vaccine doses are already secured by high-income countries, while developing countries, which are home to 47 percent of the global population, have only secured 17 percent of global vaccine doses.
Once again, let me remind all of us that we will only fully recover and be safe from COVID-19 if all countries have also recovered from it.
No one is safe until everyone is.
The challenges of fair and equitable access to vaccine for all are huge, including vaccine supplies, funding, and unwillingness to be vaccinated.
To that end, we have to immediately take concrete steps. In the short term, we have to encourage vaccine doses-sharing schemes through the COVAX Facility. These solidarity schemes need to be encouraged and boosted to address the issue of vaccine supply.
In the medium and long term, we have to double vaccine production in order to meet global needs and build global health resilience. Therefore, it is vital to collectively increase production capacity through technology transfer and investment.
If the issue of vaccine production and distribution capacity are not addressed immediately, I am worried it will takes us longer to tackle the pandemic.
The positive economic growth projections, as reported by various global financial institutions, will heavily depend on how we can deal with this pandemic together.
Therefore, G20 member countries have to give support to boost production and facilitate equal access to vaccines for all countries.
On that score, Indonesia will support the TRIPS (Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) Waiver proposal for COVID-19 prevention and treatment, including vaccine.
Indonesia has also decided to co-sponsor the TRIPS Waiver proposal.
Indonesia hopes that other G20 member countries can lend the same support. And as the largest vaccine manufacturer in Southeast Asia, Indonesia is ready to become a hub to increase vaccine production in the region.
Distinguished G20 Leaders,
In order to tackle pandemics in the future, G20 member countries have to contribute to be a key part of measures to build a robust global health resilience architecture. Global cooperation is indeed a necessity.
With a solid political commitment, G20 member countries need to support the international treaty on pandemics prevention and preparedness and strengthen WHO’s central role.
Last but not least, G20 member countries have to be a pilot or a catalyst for regional health resilience through the improvement of detection system, early warning, information sharing mechanism, and the support of the one health approach.
The principles in the Rome Declaration are essential to build our global health resilience. However, those principles would be pointless if we failed to implement them in concrete manners. Implementation is the key.
The world can only recover and become stronger if we collaborate together. Recover together, recover stronger.
I thank you. (AP/EP)