Foreign Affairs/US-Indonesia Relations

Jokowi Criticizes Structure of Vaccine Distribution at UNGA

“Politicization and discrimination towards vaccines continue to take place. We must solve these issues with concrete steps,” said the President as broadcast for the UN General Assembly on the Presidential Secretariat’s YouTube channel on Thursday, September 23. According to him, the world must reorganize the architecture of global health security in order to achieve health equity because no country is safe until all countries are safe from COVID-19. “New mechanisms are necessary to mobilize global health resources, including financing, vaccines, medicines, medical devices, and health workers worldwide, quickly and fairly,” he remarked. He also said global health protocol standards must be established immediately. “We need to set global health protocol standards in cross-border activities, such as vaccine criteria, test results, and other medical conditions.” President Jokowi further called for empowering developing countries as part of the solution. Local manufacturing capacity must be built to meet global needs for vaccines, medicines, and medical devices. “Indonesia is committed and has the ability to be part of the global supply chain”. (Tempo)

US Response to COVID

US response in Indonesia Since the onset of the pandemic, the U.S. Government has committed more than $77 million to support Indonesia’s COVID-19 response. The United States works closely with Indonesia to accelerate COVID-19 case detection and tracking, improve laboratories, disease surveillance, and rapid-response capacity, and ensure that more people know what to do to protect themselves and each other. Since March 2020, our support has reached 165 million people in Indonesia— 60 percent of the country’s population. The United States has helped approximately 43,000 front-line healthcare workers and strengthened more than 1,300 hospitals and clinics around the country. (US Embassy website) (Editor’s Note: under COVAX the US has contributed over 12 million Pfizer and Moderna doses to Indonesia.)

AUKUS Causes Concern

US-Australia-UK Defense Pact: Indonesia’s Foreign Minister reacted with concern to the recent announcement that Australia will acquire nuclear powered submarines and cruise missiles from the US. In a statement published on its website on Friday, the Foreign Ministry said Indonesia had cautiously taken note of Australia’s decision to acquire the submarines and stressed the importance of the country’s commitment to continue meeting its nuclear nonproliferation obligations. “Indonesia is deeply concerned over the continuing arms race and power projection in the region,” the ministry said. The move by Australia may have come without much foreshadowing with ASEAN, underlining the perception that Canberra may take the regional compact for granted. The pact seeks to achieve a greater strategic balance in the Indo-Pacific region.