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     Government of the Republic of Fiji

  Ministry of Foreign Affairs

    A Better Fiji through Excellence in Foreign Service

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Media Release

Minister Kubuabola Participates in 4th Bali Democracy Forum

Minister_Kubuabola_BDF4

8th December 2011, Indonesia: Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Ratu Inoke Kubuabola is in Indonesia for the 4th Bali Democracy Forum, an annual forum organised by the Indonesian government. The 4th Bali Democracy Forum will build on the previous three forums to contribute to the pursuit of democratic ideals through dialogue and practical cooperation.
 
Co-chaired by President Yudhoyono of Indonesia and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh, the 4th Bali Democracy Forum is attended by 82 countries, including 7 Heads of State and Government1, and will focus on the theme of “Enhancing Democratic Participation in a Changing World: Responding to Democratic Voices”.

In the opening session, the meeting heard from President Yudhoyono of the different and difficult nature of democratic transitions, where often in the early periods of transitions as with the current Arab Spring, things can get more difficult before they get better. He outlined expectations of democracy as including greater freedoms – political and economic, but within limits; peace; moderation – the need to push back against false nationalism and radicalisation; progress – ensuring that democracies translate into positive tangible public goods; and finally that democracy must bring out democracy itself, throughout the mindsets of the people. In concluding his opening statement, President Yudhoyono reminded participants that every democracy has the right to make their own decisions, to chart their own future, and also to make their own mistakes, as an essential part of the process for democracies to grow and mature.

In his statement to the meeting, Minister Kubuabola thanked Indonesia for hosting this Forum, a unique meeting that acts as a facilitative tool for an open dialogue on the important subject of democracy. Minister Kubuabola highlighted the appropriateness of the theme of BDF IV for Fiji, where “past prescriptions of democracy have failed to recognise the particular complexities of managing race, culture and identity, and the dilemmas between tradition and modernisation”. He added that these and other inherent challenges must be addressed to allow true democratic processes to have their way, and that Fiji’s current reform process is working to address such issues as part of its response to democratic voices within Fiji. The Minister said that Fiji looked forward to learning from the experiences of other countries who have gone through democratic transitions, as it is these countries best placed to understand, encourage and engage with Fiji to develop  a system suited to Fiji’s needs.

The conference will continue on 9 December 2011 with speakers from the 82 countries present.

Minister Kubuabola is accompanied to this meeting by Fiji’s Ambassador to Indonesia H.E. Ratu Tui Cavuilati and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation official Ms. Namita Khatri.

(Photo caption:Minister Kubuabola addresses the Bali Democracy Forum IV, with Minister Natalegawa of Indonesia as Chair of the session.)


1The seven Heads of State and Government include Mongolia, Qatar, Brunei Darussalam, Sri Lanka, Timor Leste, Indonesia, and Bangladesh