“Democracy must bring a democratic dividend, which can be enjoyed directly by the community and spread over the region”, explained the Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in his opening remarks of the Third Bali Democracy Forum (BDF III) in Bali this morning (9/12). “One of the other challenges is to seek the stability that is necessary for growth”, said the President.
Both elements are contained within the theme of this year BDF, “Democracy and the Efforts to Advance Peace and Stability”. BDF III will take place from 9-10 December 2010 and it will be attended by 42 participating countries, 26 observing countries and 3 international organizations.
Present among others are the President of South Korea, Lee Myung-bak, who is also co-chair this year BDF with President Yudhyono, Sultan Brunei Darussalam Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah and Prime Minister of Timor Leste Xanana Gusmao and 19 ministers of friendly nations.
President Yudhoyono explained that democracy is a process to advance prosperity, justice, equality and freedom for all humankind. Democracy must also bring in peace and stability. “This is the essence of the democracy we lead together”, explained President Yudhoyono.
A democratic process will never end because it will continue to develop in line with the changing times. Democracy is also a homegrown process, it has to grow from within and grow according to the local condition. “A democracy imposed from the outside will only bring political complication”, said the President.
President Yudhoyono gave a detailed description on the progress of democracy in Indonesia for the last ten years. This is the process that changes everything, the political landscape, government management and state ethics.
The process brought in a number of changes primarily in political stability, economic growth and significant improvement in people’s prosperity. Even while managing one of the complex issues, which haunt the international community, terrorism, Indonesia, still maintain its hold on the democratic values and respect of individual rights.
Three points to learn from Indonesia’s experience that democracy is providing rooms for all components of the nation, democracy is providing the opportunity to express one’s aspiration, and democracy demands that all pillars of democracy are functioning perfectly. “One of the essence of democracy is how one country is able to empower the entire elements of the nation to develop its economy and increase its prosperity”, said the President.
Bali Democracy Forum III
Before the President opening address, Foreign Minister Dr. R.M. Marty M Natalegawa delivered his report on the organization of BDF III.
Since its initial inception in 2007, BDF has attracted the attention of the international community. The first BDF (BDF I) in 2008 was attended by 35 participating countries and 13 observers, while BDF II was attended by 42 countries and 29 observers. “BDF III has become the consolidation forum and as part of the democratic architecture in Asia”, explain the Foreign Minister. The Third BDF (BDF III) is attended by 42 participating countries, 26 observers and 3 international organizations.
The sharp increase in participants is a reflection of two things, namely a substantial progress in democracy in Asia and Pacific region and as a reflection of the high commitment toward democracy.
BDF is a forum for countries in the region to exchange views and experience on democracy as well as a forum to promote better cooperation among countries to advance democracy in the region.
BDF through the Institute for Peace and Democracy as its implementing agency has organized a number of international activities such as seminars, general lectures, workshops and trainings, research and apprenticeship and election visits to several countries in Asia and Pacific region (source: Directorate of Infomed/ HO).