Minister Retno Calls for Equal Health Access to Fight Covid-19

Indonesian Foreign Minister (photo: Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

New York, MINA – Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi called for equal access to health technology for every country to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Everyone has the right to get a fair and equal opportunity to win the battle against the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Retno in the online High Level Meeting of the UN General Assembly entitled “The Challenge of a Lifetime: Ensuring Universal Access to Covid-19 Health Technologies on Friday.

The high-level meeting was organized by the Government of Costa Rica as one of the side events that took place on the sidelines of the 75th UN General Assembly. The Indonesian Foreign Minister participated in the meeting representing the President of the Republic of Indonesia.

This appeal is in line with the message of the President of the Republic of Indonesia in his speech at the 75th UN High School General Debate Session, that “no one is truly safe until everyone is safe”.

Therefore, the Indonesian Foreign Minister specifically highlighted the need to bridge the gap between countries, especially the limitations of developing countries, in accessing medicines, vaccines and health technology.

At the meeting, Retno voiced three main ideas to overcome this condition. First, the need to maintain solidarity and political commitment from all countries for handling the pandemic.

“This is important so that all parties can enjoy the same benefits from advances in science and health technology for handling COVID-19,” said Retno.

Second, the importance of establishing partnerships with all stakeholders, including government, researchers, and the medical industry. This triangular partnership will support the policy-making process that is right on target, as well as accelerate the production and distribution of medicines and medical equipment. The partnership will also support national collaboration in fighting the pandemic.

The Foreign Minister also called for the urgent need to establish a network of pharmaceutical companies and the health industry between countries.

Third, Foreign Minister Retno emphasized that global governance must be able to ensure that health technology is available and accessible to everyone.

The flexibility provided by international regulations regarding intellectual property rights is key to the production of affordable vaccines and pharmaceuticals.

Indonesia also welcomes Costa Rica’s Solidarity Call to Action (COVAX) initiative, which seeks to bring together the science, intellectual property and data needed to combat COVID-19, as well as the Covid-19 Technology Access Pool under the framework of the World Health Organization (WHO ).

Indonesia’s support for the global COVAX initiative which strives to provide vaccines for all countries in the world, and conveying the readiness of Indonesia, through the Biofarma company, to participate in producing vaccines for national and global needs, if the due diligence has been carried out,” said the Foreign Minister. (T / RE1)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)