Jakarta (ANTARA) – Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi urged the informal partnership of five middle power countries — Mexico, Indonesia, South Korea, Turkey, and Australia (MIKTA) — to call for equitable access to the COVID-19 vaccine for all.
“The year 2021 will be yet another year full of challenge and struggle, but the world must be more optimistic, given a decline in the COVID-19 infection rate, global economic recovery, and US re-engagement in multilateral cooperation,” the minister remarked at the 18th MIKTA Foreign Ministers’ Meeting held virtually on Wednesday.
At the meeting, Marsudi laid emphasis on the crucial role of MIKTA, as an inter-regional group, to form joint leadership and bridge the multilateral system, the foreign ministry noted in a written statement released on that day.
“The global crisis not only brings about challenges but also tests our collective leadership,” she remarked.
In her address, the minister highlighted three key messages for MIKTA members to continue their cooperation. First, Marsudi called on MIKTA members to promote multilateralism that will be the key to preserving international cooperation in responding to the current and future global challenges.
Second, MIKTA should encourage global equitable access to the COVID-19 vaccine and take precautionary measures against the threat of so-called vaccine nationalism and protectionism to ensure fair access to the vaccine for all countries, particularly developing nations.
For its part, MIKTA should support the continuation of COVAX, as the only multilateral platform, to ensure equitable access to the vaccine.
Third, MIKTA should strengthen cooperation in the fields of creative economy and digital economy.
Marsudi noted that the COVID-19 pandemic had battered the creative economy industry. Hence, MIKTA needs to find ways to revive the sector without sacrificing public health.
The minister further highlighted the efforts to achieve concrete results of MIKTA’s activities. “The real and concrete results will be able to minimize the interval between the formulation of government policy and the direct impact at the grassroots level,” she stated.
The minister remarked that MIKTA had continued to encourage the spirit of multilateralism amid the current global situation, including conveying a joint statement at the level of head of state/government to the 75th UN General Assembly in 2020.
MIKTA has also launched several cooperation programs, including the MIKTA Development Cooperation Agency Network (DCAN), which may lay down the foundation for the realization of development cooperation in future.
The 18th MIKTA Foreign Ministers’ Meeting issued a joint communiqué containing common views of MIKTA member states on a wide range of global issues, including Indonesia’s proposal for equitable access to the COVID-19 vaccine and a joint statement on the latest developments in Myanmar.
Source: Antara News