UK-Indonesia Discuss the Next Pandemic, COVAX, and Multilateralism

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Laila Afifa

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  • Britain's Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab speaks as he holds a COVID-19 Digital Press Conference at 10 Downing Street in London, Britain April 6, 2020. Pippa Fowles/10 Downing Street/Handout via REUTERS

    Britain's Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab speaks as he holds a COVID-19 Digital Press Conference at 10 Downing Street in London, Britain April 6, 2020. Pippa Fowles/10 Downing Street/Handout via REUTERS

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - United Kingdom (UK) Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab and Indonesian Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin on Wednesday met to discuss likeminded issues on preparing for the next pandemic, multilateralism, and vaccinations under COVAX. 

    Defeating the pandemic is a global endeavour requiring innovation, partnership, and determination - and the UK is playing a leading role,” said the UK Foreign Secretary according to the press release Tempo received on April 7.

    Dominic Raab said that Britain have already pledged £1.3 billion (Rp26 trillion) aid to end the coronavirus pandemic as quickly as possible - including up to £829 million (Rp16.5 trillion) for the development and distribution of new vaccines, treatments and tests. 

    The amount includes a £548 million (Rp11 trillion) donation to the COVAX initiative - co-chaired by Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi- which is now distributing life-saving vaccines in Indonesia to those who most need them.

    The meeting between the two countries not only touched on the issue of defeating the pandemic but also on how to prepare for future pandemics.

    Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said “the pandemic could not be ended by one country acting alone. It needs good and strong collaboration from all countries. Vaccination is one of the ways to overcome the Covid-19 pandemic."

    Indonesia has already started the vaccination since January 2021 for priority groups.

    The two Ministers also discussed the strong bilateral health cooperation between the UK and Indonesia, which is expanding to include the UK supporting Indonesia’s genomic sequencing capabilities through training and IT. The Eijkman institute already has a link with the University of Oxford - and there is potential to do even more. A MoU signed last year has already increased cooperation between the two countries on telemedicine – and this has become increasingly useful during the pandemic.

    Tempo.co