Your Excellency, Ms Retno Marsudi, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Republic of Indonesia,
Excellencies and Fellow Ministers
The world should be on a glide path to development and prosperity, but I fear we are stalling in mid-air. We face wasteful armed conflicts and serious challenges in health, food security, governance, crime and environment—including climate change, of course. We should be in an era of optimism, and yet pessimism and despair are driving people to migrate in numbers never seen before.
Multilateralism remains the key to overcoming these challenges. Multilateral action is not at odds with national sovereignty. We do not cede our national sovereignty when we act in concert with other nations. On the contrary, by willingly working with other nations to solve vexing problems, we strengthen our sovereignty. It is the basis of our international system.
We need not look farther than the COVID-19 Pandemic to see how multilateralism supported access to vaccines for us in the developing world, enabling our economic recovery. That action defended our sovereignty.
Yet the COVID-19 pandemic has also exposed the gaps we must bridge and fill to ensure that developing nations do not fall farther behind in their efforts to raise living standards and createprosperity. We need effective concerted voluntary action—multilateralism that is flexible, responsive, assertive, and—I must say it—generous.
The G20 must take the lead. It is the indispensable actor for overcoming the challenges we are facing. It is indispensable because it has the resources, the infrastructure, the expertise and the convening power to ensure that we take meaningful actions. You must jealously advance the rules-based order and insist on strategic collaboration. As a forum that commands 80% of the global economy and its resources, you cannot fail in this.
As a region, we are committed to strong multilateral and regional action. Our new 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent sets out a long-term vision to drive our political and development aspirations and our long-term approaches to critical challenges.
Our region is committed to working closely with this Forum for solutions that benefit all of us. When we look at the challenges that lie before us, we also become painfully aware of what we have left behind us. And it is vanity to think that any nation—or any group of nations—can solve its own problems while the rest of the world struggles to survive.
I convey my deepest thanks for the opportunity to address this meeting, and I am confident that G20 cooperation with the Pacific will only grow stronger in the future