Jakarta: Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi and her counterpart from New Zealand, Winston Peters, engaged in a virtual Joint Commission Meeting (JCM) to discuss cooperation in handling the impacts of the covid-19 pandemic.
"New Zealand is one of the countries to have cooperated with Indonesia during the pandemic," Marsudi remarked after the virtual meeting on Wednesday.
Of New Zealand's total pledge of 6.12 billion New Zealand dollars (equivalent to Rp59.4 billion) towards the cooperation, Rp6.3 billion is allotted to the Eijkman Molecular Biology Institute for improving COVID-19 test services and Rp4.5 billion for other purposes.
Furthermore, Rp.48.6 billion is diverted through the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) to improve risk communication services to the community, the supply and distribution of personal protective equipment, cleaning equipment, and infection prevention measures, as well as to boost the readiness of other critical services.
At the meeting, Indonesia and New Zealand concurred on an Action Plan for 2020-2024 that took into account a new situation since the impacts of covid-19 are estimated to protract for a long term.
"Several aspects are contained in the Action Plan for the commitment of the two countries in pandemic mitigation and post-pandemic economic recovery, where both stress the importance of global solidarity to deal with this situation," Marsudi emphasized.
In the national context, Foreign Minister Marsudi also elaborated on four key areas of diplomacy and implementation of Indonesia's foreign policy during the pandemic: the protection of Indonesian citizens, procurement of medical equipment, procurement of drugs and vaccines, and economic cooperation.
"I convey to the foreign minister of New Zealand about the vaccine. We discuss the extent of the cooperation we have with other countries and nationally in the context of procuring vaccines for the people of Indonesia," he remarked.
New Zealand is viewed as one of the nations to have succeeded in trouncing over the novel coronavirus disease pandemic by imposing a regional quarantine policy quite early on and backed by its test and tracking capacity, as well as the community’s adherence to health protocols. (antara)