November 22-27, 2007
Asian Young Liberals Hold Workshop on
Citizen Participation and Good Governance
Active citizen participation
from left to right: Camelia Puji Astuti, Garda Bangsa chairperson,
former Indonesian President KH. Abdurrahman Wahid and Jan-Argy
Tolentino, YLDA secretary-general
is needed to safeguard
government. In order to educate Asian youth on their responsibility
to ensure governments are truly representative
of their needs, the Friedrich Naumann Foundation and the Young
Liberals and Democrats of Asia (YLDA)
held a workshop on engaging
citizens for responsible and effective governance in Jakarta, Indonesia
from 22-27 November 2007. Hosted by Garda Bangsa in cooperation
with the Indonesia
Democratic Party of Struggle
, 25 youth leaders from eight countries
gathered together to find common solutions to the problems hampering
good governance and citizen participation in the region.
The tone of the conference was set by former Indonesian President
KH. Abdurrahman Wahid: “For us to discuss good governance,
we must ensure first that there is a government responsive to
the needs of the people.” He added, “Good and responsible
governance can only emanate from the true will of the people.
The ideals of good governing are all about citizen and government
engaging each other for better public service.”
To concretize their learning, participants also broke into small
group discussions on political parties, government work and civil
society. Each group presented a paper on governance and citizen
participation that included recommendations for their own countries.
Summing up the task for the future, Adinda Tenriangke Muchtar, political
analyst from the Indonesian Institute’s Center for Public
Policy Research, said: "Scrutinizing government transactions
should be seen both as a right and [a] responsibility of citizens."
She continued, “Citizenship in a democratic society implies
vigilance and political awareness, and these are best exemplified
and exercised by the young." She enjoined the youth to participate
in government not only by joining political parties but by exploring
“other avenues of activism.” Muchtar however also stressed
that government has an equal responsibility in that it has to create
that foster a high-level of citizen participation.
The workshop ended with YLDA holding is annual general assembly.
It evaluated its programs, planned its activities for next year
and elected a new executive committee. Rajendra Mulmi remains