Bali Democracy Forum to Expand to Other Regions, Foreign Ministry Says

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it will look into the possibility of expanding the Bali Democracy Forum in other regions, including Europe. (Antara Photo/Nyoman Budhiana)

By : Sheany | on 10:23 PM November 30, 2017
Category : News, Foreign Affairs

Jakarta. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it will look into the possibility of expanding the Bali Democracy Forum in other regions, including Europe, as the platform seeks to strengthen its aim of promoting and fostering regional and international cooperation for peace and democracy.

"We've noticed there's interest from the region to exchange their ideas about democracy, and in the future, we plan to expand the BDF to other regions, along with the development of democracy, itself," Cecep Herawan, director general for information and public diplomacy at the Foreign Ministry, said during a press conference in Jakarta on Thursday (30/11).

The Tunisian chapter of the BDF was launched in October, aiming to provide space for countries in Africa and the Middle East to discuss democratic developments in the region, identify emerging challenges and appropriate solutions.

Indonesia established the BDF in 2008 as a platform for dialog among countries in the Asia-Pacific region on sharing experiences and best practices on democracy.

The outcome of the Tunis BDF Chapter will be delivered by Tunisian Foreign Minister Khemaies Jhinaoui at the 10th Bali Democracy Forum next week.

Cecep told reporters that there is a possibility of the BDF expanding to Europe, with Germany indicating interest to lead the platform in the region. However, the ministry said it is still reviewing the prospect.

The annual meeting, now in its 10th year, includes two sessions with a ministerial panel and a parallel forum for the younger generation, the Bali Democracy Students Conference (BDSC).

"We want to include the youth's perspectives in the growth of democracy, because democracy is a continuing process that will keep on developing," Cecep said.

Outcome of the BDSC – held in parallel with the BDF on Dec. 7-8 – will be presented during the forum's closing session.

This year, the ministerial panel will discuss democracy for managing diversity, security, equity and social justice. Former Indonesian foreign ministers Alwi A. Shihab and Hassan Wirajuda are scheduled to moderate the sessions.

Twenty-nine delegations, comprising country officials and international organizations, are scheduled to attend this year's event. Ministers from 16 countries, including Qatar, Madagascar and the Philippines, are among the attendees.

"There is no such thing as 'best' democracy among democratic countries, because democracy continues to grow and develop in its respective environments, while also influenced by development and growth in other countries," said Albusra Basnur, director for public diplomacy at the Foreign Ministry.

The ministry confirmed on Thursday that the 10th meeting of the BDF will be held at the Indonesian Convention Exhibition in Tangerang, Banten, due to the eruption of Bali's Mount Agung.

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