Bali, Indonesia: “Inclusive Democracy unites and empowers people to achieve prosperity", stated Foreign Minister Retno at the opening session of the 11th Bali Democracy Forum (BDF), in Nusa Dua. The Minister reasoned that inclusive democracy needs full participation of the private sector, millennials and women (6/12).
Foreign Minister Retno also highlighted that the outlook of democracy in the Asia Pacific region has been positive albeit the many challenges confronted, particularly growing populism and anti-pluralism as well as widespread inequality.
The theme of this year's BDF focuses on “Democracy for Prosperity", which is a continuation from last year's discussion on whether democracy is able to deliver its promises. The Forum was attended by over 500 delegates from 91 countries and 7 international organizations. Participants to the Forum conveyed their appreciation to the Government of Indonesia for their continued commitment in promoting democracy as regional agenda.
After a decade, BDF remains as a significant force to promote the principles of democracy that upholds the values of pluralism, diversity, inclusiveness and centered on home-grown initiatives.
Today, the Forum has transformed itself as more than a vehicle for experience-sharing in the field of democracy. It has become a venue for participants to strengthen networks and cooperation as well as explore ways to reap the benefits of democracy.
As such, this year's Forum focuses on pertinent issues that includes institutional building, prosperity and economic justice, technology and innovation, equality, and sustainable development. This year, BDF is convened in parallel with two other fora, the Bali Democracy Student Conference (BDSC) and Bali Civil Society and Media Forum (BCSMF).
BDF has also expanded its outreach to neighboring regions, starting with a BDF Tunis Chapter in 2017, followed by a BDF Berlin Chapter in 2018. These Chapters reflect international recognition on the relevance and contribution of the BDF towards promoting dialogue and cooperation in strengthening democracy.
The 11th BDF, held on 6-7 December 2018, is an annual ministerial level forum organized by Indonesia. It was established in 2008 to create a progressive democratic architecture in the Asia-Pacific region. In the past decades, the Forum facilitated dialogues through sharing experiences and best practices in managing diversity that encourages equality, mutual understanding and respect. Throughout the years, this has become the foundation of the BDF.
For full keynote speech please click here