BCSMF 2023: Progressive Dialogue to Strengthen Democracy in the Asia-Pacific

By : Nata Kesuma | Thursday, November 30 2023 - 21:54 IWST

BCSMF 2023: Progressive Dialogue to Strengthen Democracy in the Asia-Pacific
BCSMF 2023: Progressive Dialogue to Strengthen Democracy in the Asia-Pacific

INDUSTRY.co.id - Bali, Indonesia - The sixth meeting of the Bali Civil Society and Media Forum (BCSMF) 2023 was held in Bali, Indonesia (28-29/11). The forum, involving representatives from governments, civil society organizations, media, and academics from Asia-Pacific countries, focused on the theme "Can Election Rejuvenate Democracy?". The event took the form of panels and workshops to promote more beneficial and constructive dialogue.

Acep Somantri, Expert Staff for Management at the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, officially opened BCSMF 2023. "We need to ensure the integrity of elections in enhancing the value of democracy, shaping a sustainable democracy, and enhancing synergy in the implementation of actions, along with civil society organizations (CSOs), media, and countries," he emphasized.

The first panel session discussed the role of civil society and media in creating sustainable democracy. Hasyim Asy’ari, Chairman of the Indonesian General Election Commission (KPU), highlighted the democratic transition in Indonesia, explaining that Indonesia is the world's third-largest democratic country and the organizer of the most complex elections globally.

Meanwhile, the workshop sessions addressed challenges and opportunities in maintaining election integrity against misinformation and strengthening women's involvement in democracy through elections. The results of the discussions were addressed on the final day, using a multi-stakeholder framework to enrich the prepared recommendations.

BCSMF 2023 produced several recommendations, including strengthening the leadership and political participation of women, utilizing social media platforms to increase public awareness of the importance of women's participation in policy-making processes, and implementing media literacy programs for vulnerable groups.

This program is part of the Bali Democracy Forum (BDF), serving as a platform to create progressive democracy actions in the Asia-Pacific region through dialogue and sharing experiences. The forum demonstrates Indonesia's commitment to advocating for democratic principles by developing internal initiatives and upholding the values of diversity, inclusivity, and pluralism.

BCSMF is organized in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia, the Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD), the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES), the Indonesian Press Council, the Institute for Peace and Democracy (IPD), and the Asia Democracy Network (ADN).

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