Tat Twam Asi: Balinese Philosophy Reflects Global Cooperation To Face Pandemic

Bali, 22 August 2022 – Indonesian Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin officially started the 3rd Health Working Group (HWG) Meeting on Monday, 22 August on Bali Island. HWG is global cooperation in the prevention, preparedness, and response to the coming pandemic. 

In his speech, Minister Budi conveyed ‘Tat Twam Asi’, an ancient Balinese philosophy. The philosophy means ‘I am you, you are me’. This philosophy is relevant to the government’s efforts which are reflected in various G20 meetings. 

Throughout the year, G20 has discussed ways to strengthen the global health architecture with three main agendas, namely strengthening the global health system resilience, aligning global health protocol standards, and expanding global manufacturing and research centers for the prevention, preparedness, and response to the coming pandemic. 

The first main objective of the 3rd HWG is to establish a vaccine, therapy, and diagnostic tool (VTD) manufacturing center and a collaborative research center to support the development and strengthening of research-driven VTD manufacturing capacity in Low Middle-Income Countries (LMICs).

The second is to share regulatory mechanisms and harmonization to facilitate the global capacity-building process to accelerate VTD availability during public health emergencies.

The third is to obtain an agreed principle on the establishment of a VTD multicenter clinical trial collaboration to support collaborative manufacturing and research centers among G20 countries for pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response efforts.

A pandemic can arise anywhere in the world, and thus a rapid response is important to prevent, contain, and respond to it, Minister Budi said. Similarly, the disease begins to subside in one place but appears in another, therefore the disease can rise again in the initial place. 

“It is our shared responsibility to seize this moment to expand research and production capacity that is fair and equitable in the global prevention, preparedness, and response efforts,” he said. 

In this 3rd HWG meeting, we want to voice the principles of equality in research and production, Minister Budi said. If we do not have equal capacity throughout the world, the pandemic will not be stopped. 

“So, [it is similar to] the concept is that every people in Indonesia must be treated, in the other name one for all, all for one. If we have research and manufacturing capacities, other countries can have access. One country can’t solve a global pandemic as transmission occurs across countries,” said Minister Budi. 

The 3rd HWG 3 theme is in line with the Indonesian health system transformation initiated by Minister Budi, especially in the implementation of the 3rd and 6th pillars, namely the health resilience system transformation and health technology transformation. 

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