G20 HWG delegates agree to harmonize global health protocols

Delegates at the first G20 Health Working Group (HWG) meeting agreed to Indonesia’s proposal for harmonizing global health protocols, the Ministry of Health said on Tuesday.

“We have obtained an agreement from the G20 countries regarding the harmonization of health protocols and the recognition of vaccine certificates for traveling,” Director General of P2P at the Ministry of Health Maxi Rein Rondonuwu informed at a press conference here on Tuesday.

As part of the harmonization of global health protocols, the G20 countries will encourage digitalization for mutual recognition of vaccinations and universal verifiers, he said.

“The implementation of digital certificates must consider inclusivity and recognize the challenges faced in developing countries,” Rondonuwu remarked.

While discussing the implementation of the digitization process, he said that Indonesia underlined the need to ensure security and interoperability issues between countries and regions.

In addition, G20 countries also need to support developing countries in building adequate infrastructure and capacity for harmonizing digital versions of health documents, Rondonuwu said.

As a follow-up to the agreement, Indonesia will engage with technical working groups under relevant international organizations to discuss the management of policy levels regarding technical proposals, he said.

He expressed the hope that travel protocols and COVID-19 vaccine certificate recognition at the entrances of various countries would encourage global mobility and accelerate economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“G20 this year is in a very strategic position to renew political commitments among G20 member countries. The goal is not only to realize safe international travel during the pandemic but also to accelerate economic recovery,” Rondonuwu explained.

Meanwhile, Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin emphasized that each country will still have the flexibility to apply its own requirements.

Countries will have the freedom to apply rules of the health process in their country, with clear and open procedures that can be easily accessed by the whole world, he added.

“Harmonizing global health protocol standards does not equate the procedures. Countries are still allowed to have different procedures. Our harmonization must respect the sovereignty of each country that we cannot intervene,” Sadikin added.

Source: Antara News

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December 2023