Lessons from In­done­sia – Invest in Re­gional In­te­gra­tion

Diplomat East Africa - - Dna - By ROBIN OBINO

on the de­vel­op­ment of democ­racy in the Asia Pa­cific re­gion.

The Fo­rum aims at fos­ter­ing di­a­logue-based re­gional and in­ter­na­tional co­op­er­a­tion in the field of peace and democ­racy through shar­ing of ex­pe­ri­ences and best prac­tices that ad­here to the prin­ci­ples of equal­ity, mu­tual re­spect and un­der­stand­ing. The par­tic­i­pat­ing coun­tries share own­er­ship of the Fo­rum.

It has at­tracted more than 70 par­tic­i­pants and more than 150 ob­servers from around the world.

Democ­racy is not just about the right of ex­pres­sion and hold­ing of suc­cess­ful elec­tions, said Arby.

In this year’s Bali Fo­rum, the main topic will be ‘Evolv­ing demo­cratic ar­chi­tec­ture: The chal­lenges of po­lit­i­cal de­vel­op­ment, pub­lic par­tic­i­pa­tion and so­cioe­co­nomic progress.’

More sig­nif­i­cantly, it will be Pres­i­dent Susilo Bam­bang Yud­hoy­ono’s fi­nal Fo­rum as In­done­sia’s sig­nals its de­ter­mi­na­tion to pro­mote and con­sol­i­date democ­racy through the re­sults of a draft Bill on lo­cal elec­tions.

What­ever the re­sult of the Bill will be, it will have a bear­ing not only in In­done­sia, but also other de­vel­op­ing coun­tries, on how to man­age demo­cratic pro­cesses.

The Bali Fo­rum reached its high point in 2012, when 12 world lead­ers and rep­re­sen­ta­tives from 81 coun­tries and in­ter­na­tional or­gan­i­sa­tions at­tended it. Kenya has par­tic­i­pated in all the fo­rums since the fourth one in 2011.

Now in its sev­enth year, the

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