PETALING JAYA —- Former Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is set to officiate a conference on the state of democracy in Southeast Asia, jointly organised by the Kofi Annan Foundation and the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam). Susilo is expected to deliver the keynote address at the conference, entitled “Democracy in Southeast Asia: Achievements, challenges, prospects”.
The conference, which will be held in Kuala Lumpur from Sept 2 to 3, will see Yves Leterme, former prime minister of Belgium and current head of the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA) presenting the opening remarks. Thailand’s former foreign minister, Surin Pitsuwan, who is also Asean secretary-general, will close the conference. The Malaysian government will be represented by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Paul Low.
According to a statement issued by Suhakam, the conference will include representatives from governments, political parties, civil society organisations, academia and the media. Countries represented include Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Timor Leste, the Philippines, Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam and Cambodia. At the conference, six panels will discuss issues such as development and democratisation, the relationship between economic growth and democratisation, election management bodies as a means of building trust and legitimacy in the political process, financing elections without undermining legitimacy, securing elections, pluralism and identity politics in democracies, and the role of civil society organisations in ensuring respect for political rights.
Source : FreeMalaysiaToday