13th Bali Democracy Forum: Democracy in Handling Global Pandemic
Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Indonesia on Thursday (10/12) is hosting the 13th Bali Democracy Forum (BDF) in a hybrid format with strict health protocols.
This year’s Bali Democracy Forum adopted a relevant theme ‘Democracy and COVID-19 Pandemic’, as the pandemic affects the health sector and the economy, as well as democracy.
“I emphasize that we must not let the pandemic undermine the values of democracy and democracy must not also become a barrier for us to tackle the pandemic,” Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi said after the Opening of the 13th Bali Democracy Forum.
Through the BDF, a number of countries will share experiences and best practices in handling the pandemic with representatives from various levels of society and discuss appropriate measures to ensure that democracy still remains effective in realizing prosperity and justice for society.
There were three main issues arising from the implementation of democracy, including pandemic response measures, recovery efforts, and post-pandemic resilience efforts.
In the midst of the pandemic, the BDF is expected to provide contributions in maintaining regional peace and stability, advancing the implementation of human rights and human values amidst various challenges, and realizing economic and political development balances during and post the pandemic.
“Our tasks will not be easy. We must ensure that democracy can support our efforts in the post-pandemic era,” Retno said.
The forum also highlighted the strengthening of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in economic recovery during the pandemic since MSME is the most affected sector. The improvement of MSME conditions became a crucial issue in this year’s BDF.
The spirit of inclusion is the key to a successful democracy. The 13th BDF has initiated to conduct a series of Road to Bali Democracy Forum during September-November 2020. The event consists of 3 pillars, including the Bali Civil Society and Media Forum (civil society organizations and media forum), Bali Democracy Student Conference (youth and students forum), the Economic and Business Panel (business and business community forum), which carried out pre-consultations on democracy and the COVID-19 pandemic by providing contributions to democracy and the pandemic handling.
For the record, this year’s BDF will also present key points from each pillar that will be delivered by each representative, as well as reports from the rapporteur Panel from the Government.
The recommendations to be produced are in the forms of various suggestions or views so that democracy can continue to be upheld during the pandemic and can become a positive force in overcoming the ongoing pandemic.
The BDF was physically attended by 44 participants from 26 countries and 3 international organizations as well as virtually attended by more than 1,000 participants.
The BDF was first initiated in 2008, ten years since Indonesia’s reformation, which was started with a belief that promoting democracy is an integral part of Indonesia’s foreign policy. (PR of MoFA/UN) (RIF/MUR)