Opening BDF VII, President SBY Confers Stars on Aquino III and Xanana Gusmao
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY), on Friday (10/10) in Nusa Dua, Bali, is scheduled to open Bali Democracy Forum (BDF) VII which has the theme Evolving Regional Democratic Architecture: the Challenges of Political Development, Public Participation, and Socio-Economic Progress in the 21st Century.
Presidential Special Staffer for International Relations Teuku Faizasyah in his press conference on Thursday (9/10) stated that BDF VII will start with leaders session which is led together by President SBY and the Philippines President Benigno Simeon Aquino III who will act as the co-chair.
Two other heads of states will attend this session, namely Sultan Brunei Darussalam Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah and East Timor Prime Minister Kay Rala Xanana Gusmao, as well as other member countries ministers and heads of their delegations, Faizasyah said.
In addition to opening BDF VII on Friday (10/10), President SBY will also lead the first session discussion which will be held after the opening ceremony.
Besides, according to Faizasyah, in his last working visit to Bali this time, President SBY will also confer Adipurna Stars on the Philippines President Benigno Simeon Aquino III and East Timor Prime Minister Kay Rala Xanana Gusmao.
Those stars are the highest awards which Indonesian government can confer on foreign citizens, Faizasyah said.
Since 2008 or the time when BDF was initiated, several heads of states and heads of governments have participated in BDF as the co-chairs. They came from Australia, Japan, South Korea, and Bangladesh.
Meanwhile, several heads of delegations from many countries had the opportunities to participate in the High Level Sessions. They came from, among others, Australia, South Korea, Afghanistan, East Timor, Brunei Darussalam, Turkey, Thailand, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Iran, Qatar, Sri Lanka, Singapore, and Nepal.
In the series of BDF sessions, the participants will share their best practices and their experiences in promoting their respective homegrown democracy.
Initially, BDF was targeted at countries in Asia-Pacific region and had 34 member countries and 15 observing countries. In 2012, BDF member countries coming from Asia-Pacific region numbered 36, while observing countries registered in BDF numbered 47.
Great interest in BDF from many other governments coming from various regions grows significantly. In 2013, there were 86 member countries and observing countries which participated in BDF. This shows clearly that many governments coming from various regions trust BDFs approach to promoting the virtues of homegrown democracy, Faizasyah concluded. (SKPHI/ES)