Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia, RetnoMarsudi, said that democracy is considered to be able to help not only Indonesia but also the world leaders, in facing the challenges in the coming year.
Democratic leadership is urgently needed from leaders around the world to direct sustainable recovery by reaching out to the people most affected by the pandemic and other crises caused by geopolitical turmoil, Marsudi stated at the 15th Bali Democracy Forum (BDF) meeting in Nusa Dua, Bali, Thursday (Dec 8).
Marsudi officially opened the meeting, which was attended by 323 participants from 112 countries and five international organizations, with 52 of them attending virtually. “With democracy, freedom of expression and conveying aspirations is also guaranteed, and space for effective dialogue and decision-making is also possible because of checks and balances,” Marsudi said.
While citing data from the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) that show 4.15 million productive workers are still affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, she emphasized that the principle of solidarity is very much needed in promoting an inclusive recovery. In this recovery effort, she emphasized that no party should be left behind. Democracy is the choice of the Indonesian people and has proven to play an important role in advancing peace, stability, and prosperity.
Additionally, the Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, acknowledged that democracy is currently experiencing a setback. Therefore, democracy needs to be defended and strengthened. “In a time of turmoil, tension, and chaos, divisions are widening, and people are hurting, democracy is declining, and civil society is shrinking,” he said. Hence, the world community is obliged to act by defending and strengthening democracy.
He highlighted the importance of promoting the rule of law and the universal nature of all types of basic human rights, including economic, social, political, civil and cultural aspects. Therefore, it is necessary to uphold the democratic principles of inclusivity and dialogue because they are the foundation of a renewed social contract and the key to lasting peace, as well as stability and sustainable development.
Meanwhile, global solidarity is also needed to ensure that all people, wherever they are, can have the necessary resources and support to invest in society and their future, he added.
Minister Marsudi again said in her speech that democracy is not a goal, but a way to achieve a goal. “Then, the future of democracy will really depend on us, whether we will continue to support or give up on democracy,” she said. Minister then emphasized that Indonesia is sticking to efforts to maintain the spirit of democracy and strengthen the foundations of democracy.
The Bali Democracy Forum is a cross-country forum in the Asia Pacific region that emphasizes democracy issues. The BDF 2022 has the theme ‘Democracy in a Changing World: Leadership and Solidarity’. This theme underscores the importance of leadership and solidarity as part of the pillars of democracy in the midst of world turmoil due to geopolitical and economic crises. Since it was first held in 2008 until now, BDF has presented many diplomatic representatives from countries as well as experts.