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Asia Urged to Overcome Political Gap
Source: english.peopledaily.com.cn
Source Date: Friday, December 10, 2010
Created: Dec 13, 2010

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said that Asia needs to address the issue of gaps in political development among countries in the region, instead of only focusing on economic cooperation, local media reported on Friday.

In his opening remarks at the third Bali Democracy Forum (BDF) on Thursday, the President said regional cooperation and integration focused almost exclusively on economic development, although there was an urgent need to overcome the political development gap as well. "If we don't address this political development gap, it could cause trouble for development, create political instability and pose threats to security in the region," Yudhoyono said.

"Therefore, it is important that we have a better understanding of peace and democracy. It must become part of our regional cooperation."

Yudhoyono highlighted that one of the biggest challenges of democracy was achieving stability, which was essential for development."There is no single model on how democracy creates stability, because every country has its own way, but there are universal values. Democracy is not the only tool to bring advancement. A nation also needs good governance, rule of law and also unity and hard work."

Indonesia has adhered to principles of democracy and human rights, which it has championed since the fall of former strongman Soeharto in 1998 after more than three decades in power, marking the country's transformation from an authoritarian regime to a democracy.

Initiated by Indonesia in 2008, the Bali Democracy Forum is aimed at encouraging open discussion and exchange of views on democracy among the countries in the region.

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