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Cablegate: U/S Burns Addresses Second Bali Democracy Forum

VZCZCXRO1586
OO RUEHDT RUEHPB
DE RUEHJA #2080/01 3550839
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 210839Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY JAKARTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4173
INFO RUCNARF/ASEAN REGIONAL FORUM COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JAKARTA 002080

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR P (L.ROSENBERGER), G, S/P, EAP, EAP/MTS, EAP/MLS,
EAP/RSP, DRL (C.CAMPONOVO)

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OVIP PREL KDEM XB XD XF
SUBJECT: U/S BURNS ADDRESSES SECOND BALI DEMOCRACY FORUM

REF: 2008 JAKARTA 2266

1. (U) SUMMARY: In his statement as chair of the U.S.
delegation to the second Bali Democracy Forum (BDF), U/S
Burns
conveyed strong U.S. support for Indonesia's leadership in
promoting regional democratization. The December 10-11
Forum, which was opened by President Yudhoyono and co-chair
Japanese Prime Minister Hatoyama, was attended by
representatives from 36 Asian countries and 13 observer
nations. In their remarks, both President Yudhoyono and FM
Natalegawa emphasized that democracy and economic development
are intertwined. Participating nations commended the open
and frank discussions and expressed confidence in the BDF
process of sharing experiences. The forum concluded with a
call for the BDF's programming arm, the Institute for Peace
and Democracy, to provide training, election visits,
policy-oriented research and field studies to advance the
democratic process throughout Asia. END SUMMARY.

PRESIDENT YUDHOYONO AND FM NATALEGAWA: DEMOCRACY AND
DEVELOPMENT ARE INTERTWINED

2. (U) Both President Yudhoyono and Foreign Minister
Natalegawa emphasized in their December 10 opening remarks to
the second Bali Democracy Forum (BDF) that democracy and
economic development are intertwined. President Yudhoyono
stated that development without democracy would go limp and
democracy without development would be meaningless.
Yudhoyono noted that every nation has a unique historical
background and process of development. Natalegawa said that
the democratic process must be anchored in the rule of law in
order to be sustainable. He also stressed the importance of
access to information in building a sense of public
participation in and ownership of democracy.

U/S BURNS: DEMOCRACY IS NOT JUST A WESTERN CONCEPT; IT IS
UNIVERSAL

3. (U) Under Secretary Bill Burns led the U.S. observer
delegation to the BDF. During his December 10 intervention
at the BDF leaders' session and general debate, U/S Burns
conveyed the United States' support for the BDF, and
highlighted the important example that Indonesia provides for
regional democratization efforts. U/S Burns underscored that
core values are at the heart of every democracy, including
basic human rights. He pointed out that Asian countries
have/are adopting these principles, while still respecting
local traditions, proving democracy is not just a Western
concept; it is universal. U/S Burns discussed the evolution
of democracy in the United States, and agreed with Foreign
Minister Natalegawa that the BDF's greatest strength was that
it brought together countries at different points in their
democratic evolution to learn from one another.

4. (U) U/S Burns stressed the importance of acknowledging
and correcting past problems as vital to a democracy. He
emphasized that strong civil societies and unfettered media
are important to further develop democratic processes and can
serve as the moral compass for governments. U/S Burns
stressed that the United States is committed to working with
new alliances and partnerships, rising powers, and developing
countries in Asia to build modern political institutions that
can help ensure stability and lasting prosperity.

5. (U) The United States hopes that the BDF, which promotes
peaceful transition to democracy, can be instrumental in
encouraging reform in places like Burma and in building the
capacity of Asian countries to promote reform from within.
The BDF, U/S Burns asserted, provides countries in the region
with a historic opportunity to learn from one another, take
responsibility, turn words into action, and build a future of
hope and promise for their children. U/S Burns urged the BDF
and its programming arm, the Institute for Peace and
Democracy, to seize this opportunity by undertaking concrete
actions to promote democratic reforms throughout the region.

PARTICIPANTS

6. (U) The second Forum, co-chaired by Japanese Prime
Minister Hatoyama, was attended by 36 Asian countries and 13
observer nations. (Note: As reported reftel, last year 32
Asian countries and 7 observer nations, including the United
States, participated.) All of the ASEAN countries, including
Burma, sent delegations as well as Afghanistan, China, India,

JAKARTA 00002080 002 OF 002


Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria among
others. Observer nations included the United States, Canada,
Norway, Sweden and the U.K. Additionally, numerous of NGOs
and think tanks from around the region participated in the
December 11 interactive sessions.

OPEN AND FRANK DISCUSSIONS

7. (U) The participants generally agreed that democracy can
take different forms and often evolves through various
stages, and that this variety should be cherished and
respected. They acknowledged that for this reason it was
important that common features of democracy such as freedom
of expression, rule of law and human rights be upheld
throughout the process of democratization. The leaders
underscored the need for collective efforts to intensify
capacity building in the field of democracy through, inter
alia, sharing of experiences and best practices in
strengthening national institutions, including those involved
in the election process. The leaders commended the GOI for
convening a forum in which all Asian nations were invited to
participate and share their concerns and experiences,
regardless of their stage of democratic development.

NEXT STEPS

8. (U) BDF II closed with a call for the Institute of Peace
and Democracy (IPD) to move forward with programs which were
in line with the participants' priority areas of cooperation.
Participants asked that these activities, including
training, election visits, policy-oriented research and field
studies to advance the democratic process in Asia, be
initiated before the convening of the third BDF on December
10-11, 2010. Priority areas of cooperation focused on the
link between democracy and the rule of law; and, democracy in
the information age. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is
hopeful that once the IPD's legal status is resolved, IPD
will be able to work directly with foreign donors. (Note:
Currently all IPD programs are managed by the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs. End Note.)

9. (SBU) COMMENT: U/S Burns' attendance at the BDF conveyed
strong, high-level U.S. support for one of Indonesia's key
efforts to assume a greater leadership role in the region.
GOI interlocutors expressed appreciation for this support
throughout U/S Burns' visit, and for our message of support
for both the Bali Democracy Forum and for Indonesia's role as
a regional leader. End Comment.

10. (U) U/S Burns cleared this message.

OSIUS

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