President: democracy, development must go together</h1>


President: democracy, development must go together

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Nusa Dua (ANTARA News) - President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said democracy and development must be boosted together because the two are a prerequisite for achieving justice and prosperity.

He made the statement at the opening of Democracy Forum here on Thursday.

The event which was the continuation of the first Democracy Forum also held here last year was attended by three heads of government, namely Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei Darussalam, Japanese Prime Minister Hatoyama Yukio and East Timor Prime Minister Kay Rala Xanana Gusmao.

President Yudhoyono and Japanese Prime Minister Hatoyama were the joint chairs of the second forum.

President Yudhoyono delivered the opening speech after Foreign Minister Marty M Natalegawa. The proof that democratic atmosphere has been better in the region is the increasing number of participants in the event, from 32 to 36 representatives.

"The aim of the second forum is regional and international dialogue and cooperation on democracy and exchange of lessons about democracy. Asia is actually rich of experience with regard to implementation of democracy," he said.

He said the Institute of Peace and Democracy established a year ago had so far been active organizing seminars, workshops and expert meetings to show the world about the region’s contribution on the matter to the world.

President Yudhoyono said democracy and development stemmed initially from demand for accountability from leaders and state officials.

He said hard work for the best interest of the people was the essence of good governance. "Providing a space for people’s participation in the process of decision making is a must because people have aspirations and leaders in the administration and the parliament have a task of finding the best way for accommodating them," he said.

Assuring balanced economic and political developments is also important because if one of the aspects is given more significance there would be instability and dissatisfaction, he said.

"Through democracy development will not become inclusive and through development democracy gives a sense of satisfaction to the people," he said.

Yudhoyono said the two would centre on one thing namely empowering the people particularly the marginal group.

"I saw a lesson could be taken from the global crisis. The crisis has forced the world to restructure its economy to make it more democratic. The holding of the G20 summit and the Asian support in it has become an important factor with regard to dealing with the crisis. The summit has given an equal opportunity to the weak nations," he said.