Bali, Indonesia

08 December 2016

Secretary-General's video message to Ninth Bali Democracy Forum

Your Excellency Mr. Joko Widodo, President of Indonesia, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am pleased to send greetings to the ninth Bali Democracy Forum.
Diversity of cultures and religions is one of humanity’s greatest strengths.  
But, when identity politics, hate speech and violence prevail, instability follows.
With current trends in migration, globalization and forced displacement, diversity will increasingly define societies around the world.  
To achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, we must reduce inequalities and build more inclusive democratic societies. 
I commend the Government of Indonesia for organising this event with a focus on democracy, religious harmony, pluralism and the prevention of violent extremism.  
As the world’s largest majority Muslim democracy, with a wide variety of cultures and religions, Indonesia has a major role to play in promoting, pluralism, tolerance and harmony. 
I thank Indonesia for sharing its experiences with a global audience.
Healthy democracies – with peaceful societies and functioning institutions -- foster inclusion and respect for all races, genders and religions.  
With democracy increasingly under threat in many parts of the world – North, South, East and West -- your work at this Bali Democracy Forum is more important than ever.  
I wish you a successful meeting.