The Second Meeting of the Inter-Regional Dialogue on Democracy (IRDD) took place in Jakarta on April 30 and May 1, to discuss how democracy is developing in various regions of the world.
The talks included former Filipino President Fidel Valdex Ramos, who is also President of the Peace and Development Fund, senior officials from several regional organisations, Indonesian-based diplomatic delegations, social activists and researchers.
Chaired by the General Secretary of ASEAN, Surin Pitsuwan, the talks, with the theme ‘Promoting and ensuring inclusive political participation and representation in our regions,’ focused on encouraging and ensuring the engagement of citizens and civil organisations. This is seen as a reflection of democratic systems, allowing citizens to be equally involved in decision making processes regardless of their age, sex, qualifications, culture or religion.
Delegates at the IRDD reached a consensus on the important role played by social organisations and the need to set up cooperative mechanisms amongst social organisations, the private sector, academia and other regional groups.
The second IRDD drafted an ASEAN Declaration of Human Rights to submit to the 21 st ASEAN Summit for approval, which is scheduled to take place in October.
The IRDD was jointly organised by ASEAN and the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance with the third session to be held in 2013.