Several of the best performances in addressing the COVID-19 were found (in countries adopting  democratic values).
Badung, Bali (ANTARA) - Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi opened the 13th Bali Democracy Forum (BDF) in Nusa Dua, Bali, on Thursday and gave due weightage to maintaining democratic values and practices during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Several of the best performances in addressing COVID-19 were found (in countries adopting democratic values)," she stated at the forum that brought together foreign delegates, including Bali Governor I Wayan Koster and former Indonesian foreign minister Hassan Wirajuda.

Koster affirmed that the countries' commitment to democracy should not be compromised owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, democracy should not hinder their governments' efforts to avert and control COVID-19.

To this end, the governor highlighted three crucial factors to ensure that democratic values and practices could be maintained during and after the pandemic.

First, she proposed the restoration of public trust in democracy.

Public trust and involvement are the key to preserving democratic values, including transparency and active participation of the public. The involvement of civil mass organizations can also restore the public trust in democracy, she emphasized.

The second factor highlighted by the governor was that democratic values must also be maintained during the post-COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has thrown numerous challenges that every country must face in its democratic practices.

Hence, she appealed to the participants of the forum to think of how the public will put into practice democratic values.

Third, she underscored the importance of solidarity in preserving democratic values.

"Solidarity means that we understand the fulfillment of personal rights followed by responsibility for complying with the rules made for common interests," she stated.

BDF is a cross-country and cross-institution meeting initiated and held routinely by Indonesia since 2008. The BDF is the forum of over 50 participating countries, 73 observer countries, and 10 international organizations based in the Asia and Pacific region.

Unlike the earlier edition of BDF, less than 50 participants partook in the forum this time in accordance with the set health protocols for COVID-19.

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Translator: Genta Tenri M/Suharto
Editor: Sri Haryati
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