Statement of the Delegation of the Republic of Indonesia at the Second Meeting of the Working Group on Strengthening WHO Preparedness and Response to Health Emergencies Agenda Item 5 Prioritization of the assessment of the benefits of developing a WHO convention, agreement or other international instruments on pandemic preparedness and response

September 2, 2021 Topics, Health and Labour Issues

Thank you, Moderator.

At the outset, my delegation would like to thank Co-Chairs and members of the bureau for providing us with guiding questions under this item. 

Indeed, it is clear that the Working Group should prioritize the assessment of the benefits of developing a WHO instrument on pandemic preparedness and response.


Yesterday many countries acknowledge that there are gaps in the current health system, and suggested various ways to fix them based on the various finding and recommendations received. 

Indonesia strongly believes that this group should not only focus on areas or recommendations that are convenient and feasible but should be brave enough to focus on impactful recommendations, and addressing the most urgent need.

As we have seen, the most pressing issues that exacerbated the pandemic are the lack of access to countermeasures and capacity to respond, such as shortage of skilled health workers, to the pandemic. 

These issues significantly disrupt the operability of the health systems, particularly in low-and middle-income countries. 

The situation has made the gap between countries more apparent, where LMICs be at a disadvantage position.

And yet, there is no existing international instrument that addresses the inequality of access and capacity during a pandemic. 

Therefore, Indonesia sees that concerning the aforementioned issue, and in addition to the identified benefits, there is merit in having a legally binding international instrument that will allow us to have an agreed-upon framework or agreement to secure global supply chains and sufficient healthcare workers during a pandemic.

In this regard, Indonesia aligns itself with the statement made by Thailand on behalf of the Group of Friends of the Pandemic Treaty.

We all knew, in 2005, WHO issued the International Health Regulations (IHR) in response to the spread of SARS in 2003. The new WHO convention/Agreement or another international instrument on pandemic preparedness and response in this regard are expected to be a similar legacy for the control of infectious diseases at the post-COVID-19 international level, focusing on new elements such as:

  • equality and solidarity between developed and developing countries;
  • advocacy for improving global and regional supply chains and access to tools to deal with pandemics, such as drugs, vaccines, and medical devices; 
  • Data and sample sharing, including genome sequence, and of the benefits which derived therefrom, as well as better early-warning and surveillance capacity; and 
  • transfer of knowledge and technology to developing countries to increase the capacity and strengthen the health system at the national, regional and global levels.

The agreement should use a whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach, as well as the “One Health” approach that emphasizes the close link between environmental health, animal health, and human health. In addition, the instrument should also emphasize the importance of transparency and mutual accountability in handling infectious diseases.

The instrument will favour and provide greater certainty for people, particularly in LMICs and vulnerable communities, to have timely and fair access to the needed countermeasure, as well as adequate capacity to prepare and respond for pandemics.


Indonesia is of the view that a new mechanism in dealing with future pandemics needs to become one of the prioritized issues to be included in the WHO convention, agreement or other international instruments on pandemic preparedness and response.

Thank you.