Puan Maharani Calls for “Gotong Royong”Spirit to ASEAN-AIPA in COVID-19 Battle
The Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Republic of Indonesia, Dr. (H.C.) Puan Maharani attended the annual agenda of AIPA-ASEAN Leaders’ Interface. The meeting between the Speakers of Parliaments and leaders of ASEAN Member Countries, on the sidelines of the 36th ASEAN Summit, was for the first time held virtually. Maharani joined the meeting from her office in Nusantara III Building, Senayan, Jakarta Friday (26/6/2020) in the ASEAN Leader’s Interface with the Representative of AIPA session.
In the ASEAN Leaders’ Interface session, Maharani delivered her remarks on ASEAN, taking turns with the President of the Philippines, Prime Ministers of Malaysia, and Vietnam. According to Maharani, the annual agenda reaffirms the role of AIPA as ASEAN’s partner. AIPA, which is an association of legislative bodies in ASEAN, has a strategic role in achieving the goal of forming the ASEAN Community.
The politician from the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle emphasized the spirit of gotong royong (mutual cooperation, the national spirit embraced by the Indonesian people) to ASEAN to increase synergy as an ASEAN Community, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the Speaker, countries in the region are currently experiencing the same pressure, which has an impact on health aspects and has also paralyzed all people’s activities related to social, economic, cultural, and even religious fields.
“As ASEAN has declared itself as a community, we must work hand in hand as one ASEAN Community. We must unite our spirit and energy to work together. COVID-19 has posed challenges regardless of certain nations or boundaries. Besides.” Maharani explained.
Maharani added that the spirit of gotong royong has become the national spirit of Indonesian nation. She called on ASEAN Member Countries to adopt the spirit in the efforts to find joint solution amid this pandemic. “Right now, one of the paramount importance is COVID-19 vaccine. Therefore, I should also stress that cooperation to find vaccine and open access to an affordable vaccine is needed.” stated Maharani.
Besides COVID-19, the meeting also discussed issues on security, regional stability, economy and sustainable development, including the strengthening of ASEAN-AIPA partnership. The event was a part of a series of meetings under the banner of the 36th ASEAN Summit that was opened on Friday morning (26/6/2020). President Joko Widodo attended the opening of the Summit via teleconference from Bogor Presidential Palace, West Java.
The theme ‘ASEAN Cohesive and Responsive’, chosen by the host Vietnam, marks Vietnam’s Chairmanship role in ASEAN this year. Amid global uncertainty caused by the pandemic, this theme is in line with the need to present a responsive intra-regional organization and the demand to strengthen regional efforts in handling COVID-19 pandemic.