Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights at the National Security Council Dr. Samantha Power this month announced a new initiative to facilitate partnerships among Indonesian, U.S., and civil society organizations in the Southeast Asia region.
The new initiative called "Southeast Asia – U.S. Partnership: Civil Societies Innovating Together" [or "Inisiatif Kemitraan Asia Tenggara – United States] [IKAT-US]" was announced at an event in Jakarta. The initiative is an unprecedented effort to facilitate the sharing of the expertise and experiences of Indonesian civil society groups outside Indonesia, by developing and implementing projects on a range of democracy, governance, and human rights subjects in partnership with their counterparts from U.S. civil society and Southeast Asian countries.
The Partnership will be an opportunity to move decades-long U.S. support for Indonesian civil society to the next level by enhancing the ability to collaborate on democracy, good governance, and human rights-related programs throughout the region. It recognizes that Indonesia's vibrant yet stable multi-party democracy stands as an example for other countries in various stages of democratic development to emulate – both within and outside Southeast Asia.
The program facilitates partnerships among Indonesian, U.S., and regional civil society organizations in 5 areas critical to the development of democracy, good governance, and respect for human rights. These are: elections and political participation; independent media and freedom of information; peace-building and conflict resolution; transparency and accountability; and human rights monitoring and advocacy.
The United States Agency for International Development, or USAID, will be soliciting concept papers outlining potential partnerships that might be developed under this new initiative.
"Indonesia has an indispensable role to play as a regional and global leader in expanding freedom, increasing individual empowerment, and improving living conditions not just in Indonesia, but beyond its borders," said Special Assistant Power. For its part, the United States is committed to working with Indonesia to further the freedoms and values that the 2 nations enjoy.