G-20 health and finance chiefs meet to tackle future pandemics

Health and finance ministers from the Group of 20 major economies met on Tuesday evening to find ways to deal with future pandemics, preventing them from becoming an economic, social and political crisis.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has presented us with the greatest health, economic and social challenges…and (it) is not over yet,” said Indonesian Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati, who is co-chairing the meeting. of Tuesday. said in his opening address.

At the meeting held in Yogyakarta, an ancient city in Central Java, she stressed the need to “prepare better for the future pandemic because it is not the last pandemic.”

Photo taken on June 20, 2022 shows a meeting of the Group of 20 Health Leaders in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. (Kyodo)

At a meeting of G-20 health chiefs on Monday, at least 17 of the 20 health ministers agreed in principle to harmonize global standards of health protocols that will facilitate the mobility of global travelers, a source says. close to this meeting.

Only three countries – Argentina, Brazil and China – have not announced their decision, the source said.

“We realize, as economists, that when a health crisis happens… nobody moves. When nobody moves, no goods move. When the goods can’t move, the economy doesn’t move,” Indonesian Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said.

A common global framework for reading QR codes containing vaccine certificates and other information is being developed, and is expected to be launched after G-20 leaders adopt it at their summit in November. health officials said.

Initially, the system will be able to read certificates from G-20 member countries, but in the future it will be open to all countries in the world.

Health ministers also agreed to create a financial intermediation fund and were discussing it in detail on Tuesday.

Sadikin had announced that around $1.2 billion had been pledged by Germany, Indonesia, Singapore, the United States and the European Union, as well as the London-based charity Wellcome Trust.

He also expressed hope that the fund will eventually reach $10.5 billion so that low- and middle-income countries can procure vaccines, drugs, test kits and equipment.

At Tuesday’s meeting, Mulyani said the fund must be inclusive and also reflect the “voices of developing countries” for a more effective pandemic prevention and preparedness system.

The G-20 includes Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea and Turkey, as well as the G-7 economies — Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy. , Japan and the United States plus the European Union.

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