The fourth Indonesian Civil Society Forum (ICSF), which will take place on June 14, 2023, will be headlined by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Indonesian Ministry of Law and Human Rights, and the Indonesia Jentera School of Law.

250 people from civil society organizations (CSOs), the government, academia, and development partners in Indonesia attended the two-day conference to discuss future partnerships for building inclusive democracy in the country.

“The United States is committed to supporting Indonesia’s efforts to promote accountable, transparent, and inclusive governance,” said Jeff Cohen, Director of USAID’s Indonesia Mission. Civil society is crucial to the creation and upkeep of Indonesia’s multicultural and tolerant society.

The ICSF of 2023 was concerned with the issue of “Sustaining Civil Society in Indonesia: Civic Space, Capacity, and Sustainability.” The conference gave members of the civil society movement and those who supported it a place to exchange ideas and explore how civil society may help Indonesia’s democratic reforms.

“As we get closer to the Presidential and Legislative Elections in February 2024, it is especially crucial that we work together to enhance democracy in Indonesia. According to Yasonna Laoly, minister of law and human rights, “Indonesia’s democracy is inseparable from the Pancasila doctrine, which is the foundation for bringing the extremely pluralistic nation together. “Unity and consensus-based democratic implementation in Indonesia must be prioritized for the benefit of the populace. Every person has a responsibility to uphold social justice and communal wellbeing.

The ICSF offers a platform for acknowledging and bolstering the vital role played by Indonesian CSOs in fostering social diversity and peacebuilding as well as ensuring that the perspectives of underprivileged people are heard in public policy.

Power without checks and balances is not a sign of democracy. Because accountability to the people is a fundamental component of democracy, said Bivitri Susanti of the Jentera School of Law. As a result, “freedom of speech is a requirement for democracy and cannot be restricted.”

Through USAID, the United States actively supports Indonesian civil society through enhancing CSOs’ institutional capacity and financial viability in order to encourage their independence and sustainability.

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