Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesian Minister for Foreign Affairs Retno L. P. Marsudi opened the 12th Bali Democracy Forum (BDF) and through her opening statement highlighted the significance of supporting and strengthening inclusive democracy.

"It is clear that for democracy to work, it must be inclusive. Only when every person has the opportunity to contribute to the democratic process will democracy deliver," Minister Marsudi stated in her opening statement at the 12th BDF, as noted in a written statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and received here on Thursday.

A total of 90 states and seven international organizations’ representatives are participating in the 12th BDF held by the Government of Indonesia at the Bali Nusa Dua Convention Center (BNDCC) on December 5-6, 2019.

The 12th BDF, themed "Democracy and Inclusivity," also targets drawing representatives, such as women, youths, civil societies, experts, and the private sector. Their contributions are deemed crucial to offer the forum a comprehensive perspective on inclusive democracy.

This annual ministerial forum centers on discussion on women's empowerment and bears the theme "Women, Leadership, Inclusion and State of Democracy."

Female foreign affairs ministers from Australia, Indonesia, Kenya, and Namibia, among others, will share best practices and inspiring stories on women's participation in politics, public policy-making, and other aspects of women’s political participation.

Furthermore, this year's BDF, for the pioneering time since 2008, engages the private sector, with a business panel specially designed to discuss inclusive economy wherein entrepreneurs share their views on the link between the quality of democracy and economy.

As concrete outcomes of the panel, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and several entrepreneurs will ink memoranda of understanding to offer formal education and capacity-building programs to develop small and medium enterprises for Indonesia's partners from other developing nations.

Along with the private sector, youths will engage in the forum through the Bali Democracy Students Conference (BDSC) and civil societies through the Bali Civil Society and Media Forum (BCSMF).

In the past 12 years, the BDF has played a substantial role in building a democratic architecture in the Asia-Pacific region.

Furthermore, it has evolved into a platform for sharing experiences in applying democracy in addition to establishing network and cooperation on democratic development and good governance in the region. (INE)

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Reporter: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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