COVID-19 a test for multilateralism: Foreign Minister

COVID-19 a test for multilateralism: Foreign Minister

Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi spoke about multilateralism amid the COVID-19 pandemic at an online seminar organized by The Jakarta Postnewspaper on Thursday (August 6, 2020). (ANTARA/Yashinta Difa/ac)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Retno Marsudi, has said the COVID-19 pandemic has been a test for multilateralism and has created challenges to cooperation among countries.

“Weakening trust in multilateralism is one of the global trends we observe in the post-COVID-19 world,” she said at an online seminar organized by The Jakarta Post newspaper on Thursday.

She said she believed the increasing struggle faced by multilateral institutions in responding to increasingly complex global challenges, including the pandemic, must be acknowledged.

At the same time, countries have gradually raised their expectations around multilateral institutions providing concrete and immediate results for handling the novel coronavirus disease, she pointed out.

Related news: ASEAN-US ties should boost COVID-19 handling efforts: Minister

In response to the challenge, Indonesia has made continuous efforts to advance multilateralism to find solutions, utilize resources, and coordinate the response to COVID-19, the minister underlined.

This commitment has been demonstrated through Indonesia's role in initiating the UN General Assembly resolution on Global Solidarity to Combat COVID-19, which underscores the important role of the UN and its agencies in fighting the pandemic, she said.

“So, we cannot allow the weakening of trust in multilateralism to continue, because without multilateralism, smaller countries will tend to lose more," she explained.

To rebuild trust in multilateralism, she continued, countries must ensure that the practice of multilateralism continues during times of crisis.

"People want to see how the United Nations and international financial institutions can contribute to accelerating the economic and social recovery from COVID-19," she noted.

The world must then ensure that the United Nations and global governance are always in line with its objectives in facing new challenges, and it is the responsibility of every country, as part of the international community, to strengthen the United Nations and other multilateral institutions, she said.

The international cooperation needed by the world to tackle COVID-19 has also met with a number of challenges, coinciding with the rivalry between major powers, she pointed out.

Related news: ASEAN Plus Three will weather COVID-19 crisis, Jokowi assures

The issue surrounding the origins of the novel coronavirus surfaced and, in turn, had an impact on the World Health Organization, she said.

The United States, which has accused the WHO of being too dependent on China and uncritical in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, has decided to leave the agency starting 2021.

COVID-19 has also prompted countries to demand WHO reforms to make it better prepared for facing future pandemics, the minister said.

Related news: US extends prompt support to ASEAN in fighting COVID-19 pandemic

 

Comments