Jakarta (ANTARA) - Foreign Affairs Minister Retno L. P. Marsudi highlighted the importance of basic democratic values in the post-COVID-19 recovery process, given the deteriorated state of democracy in some parts of the world due to the pandemic.

“The pandemic comes at a very bad time for democracy. According to a 2021 report by Freedom House, global freedom had declined in the last 15 years, and nearly 75 percent of the world's population resides in countries that faced a democratic decline last year. The pandemic has worsened this trend," Marsudi noted at the opening of the 14th Bali Democracy Forum (BDF), as seen from Jakarta on Thursday.

At the BDF event last year, the minister remarked that the participating countries were striving to seek solutions to maintain democratic values and concurrently deal with the pandemic.

Some countries have succeeded in striking a balance between the two, though others have struggled to maintain democracy during the pandemic.

"If during the pandemic, we had to make new arrangements in our democratic government, then in recovery, we must uphold the core values of democracy," she stressed.

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According to a poll on the Democracy Perceptions Index in 2021, the global community's desire for democracy has grown. Marsudi noted that this year's forum provided an opportunity to improve the quality of recovery, ensure that no one is left behind in the recovery efforts, and encourage a global environment that supports sustainable recovery.

The 14th BDF was conducted in a hybrid format on Thursday. It involved 50 representatives of countries and international organizations, present either physically in Bali or through virtual means.

This year, the forum was themed "Democracy for Humanity: Advancing Economic and Social Justive during the Pandemic" that highlights various economic and social injustices in society as one of the impacts of the pandemic.

This forum also aims to find paths that can address the issues at hand.

The BDF aims to build a strong democratic framework in the region by sharing experiences and best practices, adhering to the principles of equality, and mutual understanding and respect.

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Translator: Aria Cindyara, Mecca Yumna
Editor: Suharto
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