Jakarta (ANTARA) - At a time when the world is battling the coronavirus crisis, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi has stressed Indonesia’s support for the World Health Organization as well as efforts to advance the spirit of multilateralism.

"For the time being, it will be better if our energy is focused on fighting COVID-19," Foreign Minister Retno told reporters via video conference on Friday in Jakarta.

Retno made the statement in response to criticism for the WHO from US President Donald Trump, who has accused the body of failing to deal with the COVID-19 outbreak and has even decided to halt funding for the organization.

Rather than accusing each other, the foreign minister noted, Indonesia would prefer prioritizing multilateral response to the humanitarian crisis and strengthening of international cooperation to deal with the pandemic.

Indonesia on Thursday (April 16, 2020) participated in the Ministerial Meeting of the Alliance for Multilateralism (AoM), which was held virtually.

AoM is a freelance forum for countries to increase cooperation to overcome various global problems.

At the AoM meeting, Foreign Minister Retno stressed there was no option for the international community other than using the WHO as a forum for cooperation for all UN member countries for dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Foreign Minister also stressed the importance of the international community ensuring the multilateral system meets the immediate needs of the wider community, namely the supply of essential medical devices, protective equipment, medicines, and vaccines.

"For this reason, the multilateral system must be made more flexible with respect to issues related to patents and intellectual property rights for producing medical devices, drugs, and vaccines in third countries," Retno said.

In addition, Foreign Minister Retno also emphasized that the multilateral system must be able to facilitate the movement and flow of goods in order to sustain global trade and supply chains.

"During the meeting of foreign ministers, we realized that it would be better if this crisis or pandemic is used as a (chance to build) momentum for reform, so that, in the future, all existing international organizations respond better in the event of a crisis," Retno Marsudi stated. (INE)

Related news: Marsudi highlights international cooperation in medical supplies


Translator: Yashinta Difa, Azis Kurmala
Editor: Suharto
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