JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi has called on ASEAN and the United States to step up cooperation in developing a Covid-19 vaccine for the long term.
“The public is pinning its hopes on a vaccine as it is a game-changer [against Covid-19]. We hope that the United States can work together with ASEAN to this end by developing, manufacturing and producing the vaccine,” she said during the virtual session of the 53rd annual ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on September 10.
“Indonesia and ASEAN are committed to bolstering a stable, mutually beneficial partnership with the United States as equals,” Retno added, noting that the development of a vaccine is a multilateral effort.
Retno also called on New Zealand to help maintain peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region due to its standing as a bridge between the ASEAN and South Pacific regions.
“New Zealand plays a vital role in furthering cooperation as well as mutual respect and trust [in the Asia-Pacific] region. Otherwise, [the region] will be divided according to rivalries that only increase tensions and mistrust,” Retno said.
She also called on the country to aid students from Indonesia and other ASEAN countries affected by the Covid-19 pandemic who are studying there. New Zealand is highly respected for its handling of the coronavirus under Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
The country recorded 1,793 cases and just 24 deaths as of this September.
(Writers: Rakhmat Nur Hakim, Devina Halim | Editors: Krisiandi, Bayu Galih)
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