Nusa Dua (ANTARA News) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) will officially open the Ninth Bali Democracy Forum, to be held at the Bali International Convention Center, here, on December 8 and 9.

Delegates from 84 countries and five international organizations will participate in the event. Some 25 countries will send ministers or vice ministers to attend.

Focusing on the promotion of democracy in Asia and the Pacific nations, the Bali Democracy Forum last year was attended by 14 ministers and vice ministers, among others.

Keynote speakers at this years event will include former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, former ASEAN Secretary General Surin Pitsuwan, and Nobel Laureate Ouided Bouchamaoui of Tunisia.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and President of the 71st UN General Assembly Peter Thomson will deliver video messages.

The theme of the forum this year is "Religion, Democracy, and Pluralism" and will focus on improving the narrow understanding of religion.

Intolerance among members of different faiths and nations has the potential to obstruct the promotion of democracy in various countries, including Indonesia, Ambassador Esti Andayani, director general for information and public diplomacy of the Indonesian Foreign Ministry, remarked.

During the forum, the participants will share their experiences in dealing with such problems democratically.

The participants will also join a field trip to Bali Bina Insani Boarding School in Tabanan District to see education programs on pluralism and tolerance.

Editor: Priyambodo RH
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