Indonesia kicked off its year-long Group of 20 (G20) presidency on December 1, with President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo saying that the “privilege” would be used to foster collaboration and push for major global breakthroughs.
In a pre-recorded video speech streamed online and at the G20 presidency unveiling ceremony in Central Jakarta, Jokowi said the country sought to strengthen global solidarity in addressing climate change and sustainable development and get developed countries to raise their commitment to assisting developing countries.
He said the presidency would be used to strive for the aspirations and interests of developing countries in an attempt to create “a more just world order”. Specifically, the 2022 programme will primarily focus on inclusive healthcare, digital-based transformation and the transition to sustainable energy.
“Indonesia will continue to promote the G20 countries to produce major breakthroughs. Indonesia will continue to encourage G20 countries to foster collaborations and build strength to ensure that the global community will feel the positive impact of this cooperation,” the president said. “Collaboration is the answer for the future.”
The nation’s G20 presidency lasts until November 30, 2022. As Southeast Asia’s largest economy, Indonesia is only the sixth Asian country to lead the forum of the world’s biggest economies after South Korea, China, Japan, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.
This new global role comes at a time when the world is set to enter the third year of the Covid-19 pandemic, without a clear end in sight following the discovery of the Omicron mutation of the coronavirus, which is likely to set back the reopening of borders and global economic recovery.
Indonesia has already planned out its calendar of activities for 19 different cities nationwide in hopes that the international conferences held there would help buoy the local economy and prime the country for a swift recovery.
The country currently sits at 52nd place out of a 53-country ranking by Bloomberg on Covid-19 resilience, a “snapshot of where the virus is being handled the most effectively with the least social and economic upheaval”.
The three priority agenda items – particularly inclusive healthcare – are even more relevant now that the world is faced with the emergence of Omicron, said coordinating economic affairs minister Airlangga Hartarto.
“The new variant requires us to be timelier in preparing numerous healthcare facilities for every contingency,” he said at the kick-off event.
In assuming the G20 presidency, Indonesia will be able to determine “the direction of [these] global policy discussions”, the senior minister said.
To help policymakers with ideas like pandemic recovery solutions, several G20 engagement groups such as Think 20 (T20) have set their sights on engaging with G20 governments.
T20 brings together leading think tanks and research centres from around the world and is led by organisations from the host country, with the aim of contributing research and policy proposals to G20 leaders on big global governance issues. In the year ahead, T20 will be led by the University of Indonesia Economy and Business School’s Social and Economic Research Institution and the Centre for Strategic International Studies.
The Covid-19 response will remain high on the nation’s list of G20 agenda items, T20 Indonesia lead Djisman Simandjuntak said at a handover ceremony on November 30
“The key question is how we recover under the Covid-19 restraints, particularly when we have this new Omicron variant spreading worries around the world. We will have to live with it – it is called risk-based recovery,” he said.
THE JAKARTA POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK