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Pidato Menteri Luar Negeri

Report at the Opening Session of The Bali Democracy Forum, Bali, 10 December 2008

Minggu, 12 Oktober 2008

Report by
H.E. Dr. N. Hassan Wirajuda
Minister for Foreign Affairs
Republic of Indonesia
At the Opening Session of
The Bali Democracy Forum
Bali, 10 December 2008
 
 
Your Excellency President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono,
Your Majesty Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah,
The Honourable Prime Minister Kevin Rudd,
Your Excellency Prime Minister Kay Ralla Xanana Gusmao,
Excellencies,
Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
 
I am greatly honoured to welcome you to this inaugural session of the Bali Democracy Forum. It is heartening that you have graced with your presence this birth of a new Forum that is aimed at enshrining democracy on the strategic agenda of Asia.
 
When we set out to organize this Forum, we were conscious of its great and splendid possibilities. We have decided, however, to proceed with deliberation. We will take one careful step after another.
 
Your Excellency President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono,
I am privileged to report to you that 32 (thirty-two) countries of Asia are represented in this Forum today. Although this is a ministerial forum, leaders of our region are in attendance to signal their full support and lend it their personal prestige.
Moreover, 10 (ten) countries are also represented here as observers. It augurs well that countries outside the region have also taken a robust interest in this endeavour.
 
The media have also taken keen interest in this Forum: there are some 80 (eighty) national and international journalists in attendance.
 
Allow me also to report to you, Mr. President, that exactly a month ago, an experts' group preparatory meeting was held here to thresh out what should be the modalities of this Forum. The meeting, attended by 41 experts from 21 countries, agreed to recommend a set of guiding principles.
First, what we are inaugurating should be an inter-governmental forum, and not an organization.
 
Second, this should be an inclusive Forum.
Third, the Forum should aim for a sense of shared ownership among the participating states.
 
Fourth, the Forum should promote constructive dialogue based on equality, mutual respect and understanding, and non-interference. It should serve as the platform for sharing of experiences and best practices and promoting regional cooperation to strengthen national capacities.
 
The Expert Group Preparatory Meeting also recommended that the modalities of the Forum be anchored on a regular high level-meeting of foreign ministers or other ministers and prominent figures. It should also organize on a regular basis technical workshops for the sharing of ideas and experiences among government officials.
 
The Forum should also be open to support from, and partnership with, governments outside the region as well as relevant international and regional organizations.
 
The overall objective of the forum should be to foster international and regional cooperation in the field of democracy.
 
Hence, the overall theme of this Inaugural Session reads “Building and Consolidating Democracy: A Strategic Agenda for Asia”.
 
In order to institutionalize this process, I am also delighted to report to you, Mr. President, that the Department of Foreign Affairs and the University of Udayana have agreed to jointly establish the Institute for Peace and Democracy, which will facilitate and support the activities of the Bali Democracy Forum. This is precisely intended to ensure the sustainability of the Forum as you have personally aspired to.
 
The Rector of the University of Udayana and I, along with students, professors and other stake holders of the University, look forward to receiving your guidance later this afternoon when you inaugurate the Institute on the site of its future premises. I am confident that, with the benefit of your personal commitment and leadership, Mr. President, the Institute will serve the region as a worthy centre of knowledge and expertise on democracy.
 
Your Majesty,
Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
 
If we look at other regions of the world, in Europe, in the Americas, and even in Africa, we see that their discourse has already grappled with notions of democracy for quite some time. In those other regions, the debate on democracy has long passed. Their discourse has been transformed into various regional mechanisms that strengthen the democratic institutions of individual countries.
 
In comparison to those other regions, we should admit that Asia has some catching up to do. Nevertheless, various significant initiatives have been launched.
 
For example, the principles of human rights and democracy are embodied in the ASEAN Charter that will soon enter into force. With this new Charter, ASEAN has embraced democracy as a shared value. This is one effective way we can foster and maintain peace, stability and prosperity in the region.
 
Your Majesty,
Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The Asian economy today is one of the most dynamic and vibrant in the world. This is reminiscent of earlier times when Asia was not only the most prosperous economy in the known world, it was also home to several great civilizations.
These civilizations were the most advanced in science, technology, spirituality, arts and culture—and they flourished within the most sophisticated political structures of the time.
I think that we can all agree that Asia is on its way to regaining the golden age it once enjoyed. What we call the Asian Century is indeed within reach.
 
It is ironic therefore that the world’s most volatile conflicts persist in Asia. All sorts of grievous threats to human security abound in the region, including the threat of a nuclear catastrophe. We must also suffer relentless social problems associated with poverty, such as illiteracy, contagious diseases and high infant and maternal mortality.
To overcome those problems and challenges, Asia should—and must—work much harder. Asian nations must work in concert. Regional cooperation and integration must be intensified.
 
Apart from all these, democracy should be promoted. For while democracy is not a panacea, we also realize that the great challenges of our time require a democratic response. And while democracy is a day-to-day matter, its development can only be a long-term strategic goal. It is a journey of a thousand miles.
A journey of a thousand miles, of course, begins with a single step. We take that first single step today, with the understanding that we are all committed to going the full thousand miles.
 
Mr. President, 
It bodes well for the future of this Forum that you have graced its inauguration with your presence. We look forward to your sharing with us your thoughts on this undertaking.
Hence, I have the honour, Mr. President, to invite you to deliver your opening statement, which marks not only the inaugural session of a dialogue, but also the birth of a new Asian process, the Bali Democracy Forum.
 
I thank you very much.





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