Cablegate: Indonesia - Us Interfaith Dialogue: A Cairo Initiative

DE RUEHJA #0131/01 0290728
O 290728Z JAN 10




E.O. 12958: N/A

SUBJECT: Indonesia - US Interfaith Dialogue: A Cairo Initiative
Success Story

1. (U) This message is Sensitive but Unclassified. Please handle

2. (SBU) SUMMARY: The January 25-27 Indonesia-U.S. Interfaith
Dialogue, the first of its kind under President Obama's Cairo
vision, concluded with the issuance of a joint statement that calls
on the U.S. and Indonesian governments and international religious
and multi-religious organizations to move from conferences to
community action. The agreement highlighted four key areas where
interfaith cooperation would be most effective: 1) eradicating
poverty, 2) combatting climate change, 3) improving education, and
4) promoting good governance. Our media strategy and engagement
with participants that crossed religious, national, gender, age and
socio-economic boundaries can serve as a model for future dialogues.
Press coverage was extensive and positive. Transcript of the joint
statement is attached. END SUMMARY.

Interfaith Dialogue Resounding Success

3. (SBU) On January 25-27, the Indonesian government hosted the
first bilateral interfaith working group event under the Cairo
Initiative. The event focused on building communities through
interfaith work as a component of the Comprehensive Partnership.
The U.S. delegation was lead by Pradeep Ramamurthy, senior director
of global engagement for the NSC. Ari Alexander represented the
White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. In
the opening statements both the Foreign Minister Natalegawa and
Ramamurthy expressed the hope that this conference would lead to
actionable programs in line with the goals of our Comprehensive

Public Outreach Strategy

4. (SBU) Working closely with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
(KEMLU), we developed and implemented an innovative media strategy,
which included live streaming of the opening and closing ceremonies
for the conference and a webchat. It was the first live streaming
at a KEMLU event. The webchat featured Zeenat Rahman of the
Interfaith Youth Core in Chicago and alumni of U.S. exchange
programs and drew participants from across Asia, including
Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Egypt, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia,
Pakistan, and the Philippines. Press coverage was straightforward
and positive. It included publication of a number of photos of
participants and five exclusives with three leading newspapers with
a combined circulation of 320,000. The Director General for
Information and Public Diplomacy Andri Hadi said this forum received
far greater press coverage than any other interfaith dialogue in the

Participants Key to Follow-On Activities

5. (SBU) Both the Embassy and KEMLU invited a number of university
students and interfaith activists engaged in interfaith tolerance
efforts to participate. Many of these unofficial participants
expressed their eagerness to help take the recommendations and turn
them into concrete actions. Discussions are already underway with
KEMLU to identify possible areas of future collaboration and
partnership. The agreement highlighted four key areas where
interfaith cooperation would be most effective: 1)eradicating
poverty, 2) combatting climate change, 3) improving education, and
4) promoting good governance.

6. (U) The text of the joint declaration is as follows:

Shared Concerns and Commitments
Indonesia-US Interfaith Cooperation Forum
27 January 2010
Jakarta, Indonesia


We-religious leaders and other civil society actors from the
Republic of Indonesia and the United States of America-are committed
to taking common action on urgent challenges that confront us all.
These challenges respect no borders. They leave us, finally, only
as secure as the least secure among us. Even as we acknowledge our
own complicity in and responsibility for these challenges, we are
motivated by our respective diverse religious and other heritages

JAKARTA 00000131 002 OF 003

which also tell us that we can and must act together.

We are grateful to the government of the Republic of Indonesia for
hosting us in Jakarta and for its partnership with the government of
the United States in supporting our commitments for common action.
We are convinced that principled program partnerships by diverse
religious communities, other civil society actors, and governments
are essential to confront today's challenges.

In our bilateral dialogue, we also are grateful for the presence and
contributions of regional participants from Cambodia, Japan,
Malaysia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Thailand.

Shared Concerns:

Respectful of our religious and cultural differences, and informed
by our mutual experiences of diversity, we are united around the
following concerns. We believe these concerns present common
challenges and responsibilities to each of us and our communities:

Poverty: Vast numbers of the human family are trapped in
unprecedented structural poverty and denied the basic means to work
their way out of it. Our religious communities are urgently called
to respond to this structural poverty in new ways so as to enhance
our communities' already established and valuable practices of
charity and philanthropy.
Climate Change: Rapid global warming, pollution, and the depletion
of natural resources threaten the foundation of human life and the
earth as we know it. Our religious communities are called to
protect the integrity of the environment, even while they are also
called to advance a just and sustainable development for all.
Education: Within our religiously diverse societies, each community
is called to educate its members on the importance of freedom of
belief for all and to honor the value of diverse religious
contributions to the good of society. Religious communities must
equip themselves to work with each other to advance the common good,
while retaining their distinct religious identities.
Good Governance: While all institutions, including religious ones,
need good governance, we call on all governments to strive to be
participatory, accountable, transparent, and equitable. In
addition, we urge them to be fully committed to inclusivity and to
the protection of minorities.
Shared Commitments:

We are united in the following commitments:

Ending Poverty:

1. Educate our religious communities on the causes of structural
poverty and advocate in governmental and intergovernmental forums
for its eradication.
2. As a complement to the work of specialized religiously-affiliated
development agencies, work to engage local religious
communities-including women's and youth groups, and schools-in the
implementation of grassroots-led development and public health
3. Advance multi-religious partnerships, while engaging the public
sector, in order to equip local religious communities for such
Protecting the Environment:
1. Educate our religious communities on the dangers of climate
change and environmental degradation, and advocate in governmental
and inter-governmental forums for effective, equitable, and
verifiable climate and environmental protection agreements.
2. Work to engage our local religious communities-including women's
and youth groups, and schools-to advance "green" standards, models,
and practices.
3. Advance multi-religious partnerships, while engaging the public
sector, in order to equip local religious communities for such
Promoting Education on Religious Diversity and the Common Good:
1. Educate our religious communities about religious diversity and
its value for the common good. Encourage each religious community to
identify and teach from it's own text and traditions about the
inviolable dignity of others and their freedom of belief and
2. Jointly advocate for basic formal education about religious
traditions, religious diversity, and their importance for social
cohesion; and advance related informal education, placing special
priority on women's groups and experiential service programs for

JAKARTA 00000131 003 OF 003

3. Advance multi-religious partnerships to counter religious
discrimination, persecution, or humiliation, and to foster respect
for diverse religious sensitivities.
Advancing Good Governance:
1. Explore the application of the principles of good governance to
our own religious institutions.
2. Educate our religious communities on the need for good government
and advocate for it.
3. Advance multi-religious partnerships to educate and equip local
religious communities for advocacy for good government.
Facilitating Cooperation:

We are committed to working together across religious communities,
with other civil society actors, and with governments in program

We believe that a key to good program partnerships on shared
objectives is a respect for the unique identities, mandates, and
capacities of all partners. In this regard, we believe that
religious communities should continue to strengthen multi-religious
structures that would serve as appropriate partners with other civil
society and government actors.

We also believe that these partnerships can be especially helpful
for equipping religious communities to scale up action programs to
address shared concerns. We commit ourselves to a joint process to
frame an agenda for future actions.

We respectfully call upon the existing Indonesian, American, and
international religious and multi-religious bodies to both support
us and join us in our commitment to shared action.

We offer deep appreciation for the partnership between the
Indonesian and United
States governments to advance our collaboration, and respectfully
request as well that they continue to work together with us to
advance the common good.

We have begun, and we are all heartened by each other's commitment.

End Transcript.


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