Jakarta, 25 November 2023 — More than a thousand young people of various backgrounds from all over Indonesia gather at Balai Kartini Building for the Young People’s Conference to Restore Indonesia. This conference provides a space for the younger generation to consolidate their strength and together face the current environmental and democratic crises in Indonesia. This conference is a continuation of the Consolidation of Young People to Restore Indonesia which was held on 28-29 October in Caringin which resulted in the Young People’s Charter to Restore Indonesia. At this conference, the points of agreement contained in the Charter were read out with the hope that it will become a guide for young people in overseeing the journey of democracy and natural resource management policies in Indonesia.
The Young People's Charter to Restore Indonesia is the crystallization of young people's commitment to reversing the gap between government policies that are far from the root of the problem and young people's dreams about Indonesia's future which guarantees safety and prosperity for all Indonesian people.
Three presidential candidates were invited to listen directly to young people's ideas about Indonesia's future. They demand that the elected government in the upcoming 2024 general election make the Young People's Charter to Restore Indonesia the main basis for forming natural resource management policies and preparing the 2025 Long Term Development Plan (RPJP) to achieve the vision of Indonesia Recovering 2045.
“We sent the invitation to all the Presidential Candidates two weeks before the conference. However, the only presidential candidate confirmed to attend was Anies Baswedan. Prabowo sent a representative of his Winning Team, while Ganjar Pranowo sent a letter of apology because he had another schedule in place," says Fatimah Smith, as chairman of the committee.
Zenzi Suhadi, Executive Director of WALHI who was present at this conference, in his speech said that all the young people who gathered at Balai Kartini came from different range of problems from their respective regions but with the same concerns about the future of environmental management and natural resources in Indonesia.
Zenzi further advised whoever is elected as the next president. "When young people speak out against regulations or policies, they should not be imprisoned. Because if we want to achieve justice in this nation, the most credible source, the most credible reference for the term of ‘justice’, is from young people who have experienced injustice. That is where we understand oppression and that is where we feel what it's like to realize justice." Concludes Zenzi.
Meanwhile, Anies Baswedan, who is given the opportunity to respond to the reading of the Young People's Charter to Restore Indonesia, welcomes the conference and considers that the voices of young people are very important to put Indonesia on its path, namely bringing about social justice.
"Everyone who is present here actually has no responsibility to take care of the ecosystem, ecology and environment. Because it is the government's responsibility, but you all here choose to take moral responsibility.” Says Anies Baswedan.
The reading of the Young People's Charter to Restore Indonesia is represented by 8 representatives from various backgrounds. They are Ahmad as a coastal young person, Aji Ahmad Afandi as a rural young person, Ilma Rivai as a young person with a physical disability, Destara as a young person with a mental disability, Alia representing Padepokan Ciliwung, Fernando Simanjuntak as an indigenous youth, and Aceng an urban youth.
The points of the Charter read as follows:
We young people of Indonesia, agree to build collective strength to defend the homeland of Indonesia and help ensure the growth of democracy and the fulfillment of justice between generations.
We young people of Indonesia, will ensure that the national provides quality education, free of financing, accommodates local knowledge, provides protection to alternative schools, and improves the welfare of teachers.
We young people of Indonesia, will always remind state administrators to protect all of Indonesia's bloodshed and the entire nation from the threat of ecological disaster and climate crisis as mandated in the 1945 Constitution.
We young people of Indonesia, will ensure that the nation must immediately abandon the pro-capitalist political economic system and shifts to an Indonesian economy that is oriented towards a people's economic concept rooted in independence and local wisdom, environmental and social protection as ways to address poverty and dependence on foreign debt.
We young people of Indonesia, are committed to overseeing and ensuring that the government elected in the 2024 election will use this charter as the main basis for forming natural resource management policies and preparing the 2025 Long Term Development Plan (RPJP), in order to achieve the vision of Indonesia Recovering 2045.
Parallel workshops are also held during this conference to demonstrate the results of Indonesia's natural wealth, including a coffee brewing workshop and herbs making from spices workshop, as well as two workshops to express young people's concerns about the current situation, including a zine workshop and a sculpture art workshop. In addition, the event is enlivened by various performances of Indonesian arts such as Indonesian songs, pantonyms from Taman Anak Pesisir and Svara Djiva Nusantara.
Public Engagement WALHI:
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