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Delegates Appreciate WHO’s Presence in the 144th IPU Session in Bali

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The Covid-19 pandemic has not ended and is still sweeping the world. The addition of cases and mutations of the Corona virus is still happening in various countries. To that end, the 144th Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Session in Bali held a WHO panel to strengthen the role of parliament in efforts to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic. This WHO workshop received appreciation from the IPU delegates.

In the 144th IPU session, representatives from the World Health Organization or WHO were also present. WHO Secretary-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has virtually said that Covid-19 is disrupting fundamentals in many countries. Related to this, WHO assesses that there is still a lack of solidarity between countries to help each other.

The session participants, consisting of delegates from the world’s parliaments, welcomed the launch of the handbook by WHO, for parliaments on International Health Regulations.

WHO created a special guidebook for parliament, as a tool for parliamentarians to assist the government in preparing health security and handling the Covid-19 pandemic.

In the WHO Concept Note for the Never again – Strengthening health security preparedness workshop during COVID-19 recovery and beyond, it is stated that the Covid-19 pandemic reveals a lack of preparedness with disastrous consequences, for all segments of society. Preparedness is a global challenge and there are major gaps in international solidarity and sharing, including sharing of pathogen data and epidemiological information, resources, technology and tools, such as vaccines and other preventive measures.

Therefore, new international conventions, agreements or other instruments are needed to improve pandemic prevention, preparedness and response to address future public health risks.

WHO’s participation in this international parliamentary forum in Bali is a new hope for people around the world that the pandemic can end. For that, real steps are needed and harmonious cooperation between the legislature and the executive is needed.

As stated by the Secretary General of the IPU Martin Chungong, that the government needs parliamentary support to overcome the pandemic and the WHO guidebook is believed to be able to strengthen parliament’s preparations in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic.

On the occasion with WHO and in front of the session participants, Indonesia showed a proactive attitude where the Chair of the Indonesian House of Representatives, Puan Maharani, invited the world’s parliaments to develop legislation and policies related to national health in a comprehensive and proportional manner.

Meanwhile, according to the Deputy Chair of the DPR RI Inter-Parliamentary Cooperation Agency (BKSAP), Putu Supadma Rudana, that cooperation and joint commitment between countries is the best solution in handling the pandemic.

To note, the IPU’s legal entities, including the Governing Council, Standing Committee, Parliamentary Human Rights Committee and Middle East Questions, as well as the Women’s Parliamentarians Forum and the Young Parliamentarians Forum, have been convening in Nusa Dua Bali since 20 March 2022. The General Debate provides various a platform for delegates to confer, exchange views and seek to mobilize parliamentary action in addressing the climate emergency, including the issue of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The IPU Assembly will adopt a resolution on emergency items and subject items adopted by the Standing Committee on International Peace and Security entitled Rethinking and reframing the approach to peace processes with a view to fostering lasting peace. , and by the Standing Committee on Sustainable Development entitled Leveraging Information and Communication Technology as an enabler for the education sector, including in times of a pandemic.

The participants of the 144th IPU are expected to be able to find the right solution, draw conclusions from the results of the trial and affirm their commitment to saving human life.

(Marie Apituley – Political Economy Observer / Program Director of One of the Eastern Indonesia Community Radios)

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