Australia’s Assistant Minister for Indigenous Health and Indigenous Australians, Senator Malarndirri McCarthy will represent Australia at the G20 Health Ministers’ Meeting on 27-28 October in Bali, Indonesia.
This will be the first time a First Nations minister will represent Australia at the G20 and the second Health Ministers’ Meeting held under the Indonesian G20 Presidency.
Health ministers from G20 countries around the world will focus on bolstering global health systems and better preparing for future health threats.
Ministers will discuss ways to better prevent and respond to future pandemics, including supporting more equitable distribution of vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics, as well as enhanced interoperability of COVID-19 vaccine certificates to streamline international travel.
The meeting will highlight the importance of learning lessons and being better prepared for future global health crises and mitigating potentially devastating economic and health consequences as seen with the COVID-19 pandemic.
The gathering, held under the leadership of Indonesian Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin, will continue the catalytic role the G20 has played to support the establishment of the new Financial Intermediary Fund for Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness and Response (FIF).
Australia is pleased to be a supporter of this fund with a priority for the FIF to address critical gaps and deliver tangible benefits to the Indo-Pacific region.
The FIF, hosted by the World Bank and drawing on the technical expertise of the World Health Organization, will provide additional, long-term financing to help strengthen national, regional and global pandemic preparedness and response capabilities in areas such as disease surveillance, laboratories and critical health workforce.
Ministers will also hear the outcomes of discussions highlighting the imperative to refocus efforts on tuberculosis and antimicrobial resistance, as well as implementing a ‘one health’ approach that brings together human, animal, and environmental health.
The meeting will also be an opportunity to reinforce the bilateral relationship between Australia and Indonesia, particularly the health relationship, which has been renewed through a Memorandum of Understanding between health ministries of both countries.
ATTRIBUTABLE TO ASSISTANT MINISTER MCCARTHY:
“The G20 is the world’s premier forum for international economic cooperation — and in the wake of COVID-19, it continues to focus on the importance of strengthening global health systems to improve health outcomes and international economic stability.”
“Australia’s experience during the COVID-19 pandemic will be enlightening and invaluable as the G20 works to support the global response to future pandemics and protect the health and wellbeing of people around the world.”
“The gathering of health ministers from across the world is a critical event where we can coordinate improvements in health systems so Australians and our regional neighbours can live longer, healthier and happier lives.”
“I am honoured to be the first Indigenous minister to represent Australia at the G20, and to follow in the footsteps of my colleague Senator Pat Dodson, who addressed the United Nations General Assembly last month.”
“It’s important to embed Indigenous perspectives into our foreign policy where First Nations people can offer a wealth of knowledge and help steer Australia’s efforts in diplomacy, negotiation and reconciliation in an increasingly globalised world.”