Indonesia's Department of Foreign Affairs has designated Bali's Udayana University to pioneer an Institute for Peace and Democracy to be formally opened by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on December 10, 2008.
The newly established institute will be fully supported by the Indonesian Department of Foreign Affairs (DEPLU) with Udayana University providing the buildings to accommodate the program at its Bukit-Jimbaran campus.
Quoted in Kompas, Indonesia's Foreign Minister Hasan Wirajuda said Bali is the correct location for the institute as the island has often been chosen as the venue for the expression of the world's aspiration while hosting prestigious international summits, but Bali's Udayana University thus far always been relegated to the role of a mere spectator.
Hasan welcomed the establishment of the first peace and democracy institute in Southeast Asia, saying, "it is good that Indonesia share the experience of its political journey, especially given the fact that Indonesia is seen as a success in developing democracy over the past 10 years."
Udayana's rector, Made Bakta, expressed his satisfaction with the newly established institute at his university which heretofore has had no political science department.
To mark the inauguration of the new Institute, Udayana University hosted a Bali Democracy Forum November 9-11, 2008, attended by 41 experts from 21 countries around the region.
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