The Center for Innovation and Academic Studies UGM held the 9th UGM Talks series for an encore on Sunday afternoon (6/14). The series entitled “Synergy of UGM and Kagama” for rising the theme of “Preparing for a New Normal Experience of Other Countries.” The event was held online via the Zoom platform and was televised live from the UGM Channel Youtube channel.
This time arose due to deepening the synergy between Kagama as a community for UGM alumni and their studies. Prof. Dr. Paripurna, SH., M.Hum., LL.M., as Vice Chancellor for UGM Collaboration and Alumni, said that although the link between the two has always been so close all this time, to face the Covid-19 pandemic, it will need more unified cooperation. Therefore, he was grateful for the event.
“It is an honor to be invited to this event. Indeed, we need to hold such constructive and positive discussion activities more,” he said.
Meanwhile, to explore the theme of the event, several speakers were presented. They are Drs. T.B.H. Witjaksono Adji, MALD. (Deputy Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia in Vienna, Austria), Hariyana Soetarto, SH. (Minister-Counselor of the Indonesian Embassy in Vietnam), and Theodorus Satrio Nugroho, MRI. (Minister of Counselor of the Indonesian Embassy in Washington DC). These three UGM alumni presented to tell the conditions of each country during Covid-19. Besides, they primarily talked about the steps and strategies these countries had taken to prepare for the New Normal.
In addition to the three speakers, there was also a presence from the Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Retno Lestari Priansari Marsudi, S.I.P., LL.M., as the keynote speaker for this event. She explained that every country worldwide, including large and prosperous countries with an equipped health system, could not guarantee an expansion in the number of pandemic increases.
“Seven of ten countries with the most positive cases of Covid-19, are countries that are members of the G20. Those are countries with the largest economy in the world. This fact proves that a country with high monetary wealth, which means that even the quality of life and the health system cannot effectively determine the pandemic rate,” she said.
Besides, Retno also said that Covid-19 also affected the economy in other countries in the world. She stated that only 3 G20 countries continued to undergo positive growth. They are the United States, Australia, and Indonesia. However, these three countries still have a decline compared to the previous situation before the pandemic. So you could say no state has not encountered an economic downturn due to this pandemic.
“According to data from the World Bank, around 71 million people in the world are now in extreme poverty due to the pandemic. If we don’t take action against the current condition, then the number could reach 100 million. On the other hand, based on UNU-WIDER, that number could reach 395 million people in the extreme poverty line. And there will be 1.2 billion people who will earn less than 1.9 USD per day,” she said.
Retno added that the data did not include social impacts such as depression, despair, as well as community concerns in the world. Thus, she said that we need to prepare a New Normal life; each country needs to conceive of appropriate strategies to their country’s context. The aim is not only to restore the economy but also to think about staying healthy and safe.
“Currently, the government is implementing the Covid-19 Safe Productive Society with extreme care. Sometimes many parties eliminate ‘safe’ and only see the productive economy. We want it to be a healthy and productive country. Even if the economy reopens later, but the number of increasing cases keeps rising, it is perhaps, the economy might temporarily stop again,” she said.
Before closing her presentation, Retno advised that the society’s important thing was to continue to inject positive energy, to build unity, and to continue to respect and implement health protocols when later undergoing the era of New Normal. “If we unite, we will be able to win the war against Covid-19 and this economic crisis,” she said.
Ganjar Pranowo, Chairperson of PP Kagama, also attended as the keynote speaker. He appreciated the action done by friends at UGM and Kagama to help the handling of Covid-19. “We should not feel stuck and lost. Instead of feeling those, we should help and share. Spread the positive speech and enthusiasm amid this pandemic,” he concluded.
Translator: Natasa A