THE 11 YEARS HISTORY OF BDF
BDF I was held on 10-11 December 2008. This Forum was chaired by the President of the Republic of Indonesia together with the Prime Minister of Australia, atended by 4 Heads of State/Government, with the participation from 32 participant countries and 8 observer countries. The theme of the BDF I was “Building and Consolidating Democracy as Agenda for Asia”.
This first Forum puts forward an engagement approach to create a sense of comfort among the participating nations. This first forum has succeeded in making democracy a sustainable regional strategic agenda through the strengthening of democratic values and institutions that maintain the creation of democracy in a progressive manner. Consolidation of democracy is done through increased cooperation in the framework of 'sharing experiences and best practices'.
BDF II was held on 10-11 December 2009. This Forum was chaired by the President of the Republic of Indonesia together with the Prime Minister of Japan, attended by 4 Head of State/Government, with the participation from 32 participants and 8 observers. The theme of the BDF II was “In Search of Synergy: Democracy, Rule of Law, and Development”.
The theme raised in the BDF II was deemed relevant to the condition of the global community that was in the midst of debt and financial crisis. With relatively stable economic growth, Asia was expected to be the engine of the global economic recovery. Political progress is considered important to create a balanced and conducive condition in Asia, as economic growth ultimately demands the enforcement of the rule of law and transparency.
BDF III was held on 8-9 Desember 2010. This Forum was chaired by the President of the Republic of Indonesia together with the President of South Korea, attended by 4 Heads of State/Government, with 44 participant and 27 observers. The theme of the BDF III was “Democracy and the Promotion of Peace and Stability”.
The third Forum was held in the midst of a regional political crisis on the Korean peninsula. The Forum then agreed that democracy should be able to generate democratic dividends that is able to be felt directly by the community, including the creation of peace and stability. In the context of resolving a country's internal conflict, it emphasizes on the importance of a dialogue mechanism that can ensure a peaceful transition of democracy.
BDF IV was held on 8-9 December 2011. This Forum was chaired by the President of the Republic of Indonesia together with the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, attended by 9 Heads of State/Government, with 40 participant countries and 45 observer countries. The theme of the BDF IV was “Enhancing Democratic Participation in a Changing World: Responding to Democratic Voices”.
The fourth Forum was held amid the wave of democratization and political change in the Middle East, commonly known as the Arab Spring. Democratization triggered by the absence of a corridor for the Middle Eastern society to channel its aspirations has provoked the Forum to agree that government may be more responsive in responding to community demands and aspirations. The Forum also agreed that broad public participation in the formulation of public policies supported by information disclosure and transparency will foster deep – rooted democracy and maintain the sustainability of the democratic process.
BDF V was held on 8-9 November 2012. This Forum was chaired by the President of the Republic of Indonesia together with the President of South Korea, the Prime Minister of Australia, attended by the Sultan Brunei Darussalam, the President of Afghanistan, the President of Iran, the Prime Minister of Timor Leste, the Prime Minister of Turkey, the Prime Minister of Thailand, the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, the Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore and the Deputy Vice Minister of Nepal. BDF V was attended by 37 participants and 48 observers.
The theme of the BDF V was “Advancing Democratic Principles at the Global Setting: How Democratic Global Governance Contributes to International Peace and Security, Economic Development, and Effective Enjoyment of Human Rights”. BDF V raised the theme of promoting democratic principles in global governance. The widespread demands of democracy in various parts of the world to date have not been followed by a significant progress in promoting democratic attitudes in interaction among the international community.
BDF VI was held on 7-8 November 2013. This Forum was chaired by the President of the Republic of Indonesia, attended by 3 Heads of State/Government, with the participation from 43 participants and 52 observers. The theme of the BDF VI was “Consolidating Democracy in Pluralistic Society”.
The theme of BDF VI is a reflection of Indonesia's experience and its projection of the problems faced by countries in the region. Pluralistic society is an asset that should be considered in democratic dividends, including in supporting the economic development of a country. The sixth forum also discussed about the implementation of free and fair elections and strengthening democratic institutions.
BDF VII was held in the Bali International Convention Center (BICC), Nusa Dua - Bali on 10 – 11 October 2014. This Forum was chaired by the President of the Republic of Indonesia together with the President of the Philippines, attended by the Sultan of Brunei, the Prime Minister of Timor Leste, 42 participant countries, 45 observer countries, and 4 international organizations.
The theme of the BDF VII was “Evolving Regional Democratic Architecture: The Challenges of Political Development, Public Participation, and Socio-Economic Progress in the 21st Century”. The theme was expected to give opportunity to the participants to
explore various effective and appropriate means of to establish the structure of democracy in the region.
Meanwhile, the interactive discussion sessions had two sub-themes, “The Dynamics of Political Development and Socio-Economic Progress” and “Promoting Active, Effective, and Meaningful Public Participation in the Democratic Process.
BDF VIII was held on 10-11 December 2015 in the Bali Nusa Dua Convention Center (BNDCC), Nusa Dua, Bali, bearing the theme “Democracy and Effective Public Governance” in the format of a General Debate and two Panel Discussions.
The Forum was officially opened by the Vice President of the Republic of Indonesia and was attended by 19 officials at the ministerial / vice-ministerial level. Overall, the BDF VIII was attended by approximately 250 delegates from 89 countries and 3 international organizations.
BDF IX was held on 8-9 December 2016 in the Bali International Convention Center (BICC), Nusa Dua, Bali, bearing the theme “Religion, Democracy, and Pluralism” in the format of a General Debate and two Panel Discussions.
The Forum was officially opened by the President of the Republic of Indonesia and was attended by 26 officials at the ministerial / vice-ministerial level. Overall, the BDF IX was attended by approximately 237 delegates from 95 countries and 6 international organizations.
In order to show the practice of pluralism and tolerance in Indonesia, especially in Bali, during BDF IX, a field visit was conducted to Pondok Pesantren (Islamic boarding school) of Bali Bina Insani in Tabanan Bali.
The 10th BDF
The 10th BDF was held on 7-8 December 2017 in Banten, bearing the theme “Does Democracy Deliver?”. The Forum was officially opened by the Vice President of the Republic of Indonesia and was attended by officials from 99 countries 7 international organizations.
The new initiative in this Forum was the implementation of Bali Democracy Students Conference (BDSC) that runs in parallel with the 10th BDF. During the second day of the 10th BDF, the delegation went to a site visit to Bandung. Hosted by the Governor of West Java to observe a coffee exhibition at Gedung Sate, a remarkable historic building. The delegation also visited Bekraf Festival 2017 (economic creative exhibition) at Gedung Merdeka, and visited the Asia Africa Conference Museum.
BDF Chapter Tunis
BDF Chapter Tunis was conducted on 2 October 2017, a cooperation between the Indonesian Foreign Ministry, Tunisian Foreign Ministry, and Institute Tunisien des Etudes Strategiques (ITES). BDF Chapter Tunis was attended by 50 participants from high level officials and academicians from 5 North African Countries (Tunisia, Libya, Algeria, Morocco, and Egypt).
This was the first BDF held outside Indonesia, strengthening Indonesia's posture as a country with a moderate Muslim community committed to strengthening democracy through dialogue.
The 11th BDF
The 11th BDF was hold on 6-7 December 2018. Bearing the theme “Democracy for Prosperity” as the continuation from the previous discussion of the 10th BDF which believes that the growth of economy, investment, business, health care, and prosperity are the result of democracy. The Forum discussed further about the role of democracy on creating a prosper society.
The 2nd BDSC was also runs in parallel with the the 11th BDF bearing the theme “Democracy for Prosperity: Youth’s Perspective” as well as the Bali Civil Society and Media Forum (BCSMF).
BDF Chapter Berlin
Ministry for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia, together with the Federal Foreign Office of the Federal Republic of Germany, and Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Foundation organized the Bali Democracy Forum (BDF) Berlin Chapter in Berlin, Germany, 14 September 2018. The forum bearing the theme “Democracy and Migration”. BDF-Berlin Chapter is a forum based on dialogues regarding to the experiences of handling migration issues, democracy system in Asia and Europe, and the response of international society towards migration issues in democracy matters.
BDF-Berlin Chapter was attended by more than 120 delegates consists of Germany Government, European Commission, Diplomatic Corps, academics, think tanks, and also International NGO from several countries namely England, Austria, Belgium, Switzerland, India, Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, and Armenia.