Your Excellency Minister Retno Marsudi,
Ladies and gentlemen,
I’m pleased to have the opportunity to participate in this seminal event, the 9th Bali Democracy Forum. Allow me to thank the Indonesian side for organizing the Forum and wish all the participants a productive discussion.
The topic of the Forum is “Religion, Democracy, Pluralism”. In today’s world it is imperative that the international community expand its debate on issues of pluralism and diversity within democratic societies. Friction between cultures and religions, the transformation of marginal streams into mainstream, the triumph of radical nationalists and the far-right over centrist politics, the rise of extremist religious movements over moderate ones – all these modern phenomena are rooted in the same causes.
Diversity should make us richer, rather than becoming a source of conflict. It is critical that states perceive and halt the manipulation of diversity by profiteers and belligerents.
At this point it is clear, that to gather the support of masses, marginal extremist groups are using propaganda techniques - like populist rhetoric, fear-mongering, dissemination of radical ideas, fake and doctored information, false promises. In the XXI century with the advent of the internet and social media it has become even easier to manipulate people into hate. This can be called manufactured hate.
In Ukraine's case, we are learning about propaganda the hard way. For the past two and a half years my country has been the target of Russia’s hybrid aggression – armed as well as informational. The result of it has infamously been the illegal occupation of part of my country’s sovereign territory, the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
Russia is using the same tactics to create a friction on ethnic and cultural grounds in areas like Abkhazia, South Ossetia in Georgia, Transnistria in Moldova, where ethnically and culturally diverse people had been living side by side in peace for centuries.
A segment of Crimea’s people were manipulated into complying with the current Russian occupation. However, aside from the worsening economic situation and overall quality of life, the state of inter-ethnic and inter-religious relations in Crimea has deteriorated.
Minorities, particularly groups that supported Ukrainian unity, endure systematic persecution. The most prominent of these groups are Crimean Tatars, who are Muslim. Their key media and community organizations are being threatened and shut down, including Crimean Tatar television, and the Crimean Tatar Mejlis. Their community leaders are exiled. Others are subjected to illegal detention and maltreatment. Kidnappings, torture, harassment, vandalism, and killings have become commonplace.
Ukrainian and international law recognize the population of Crimea as Ukrainian citizens living under a foreign occupation. We have a duty to protect our citizens. We demand Russia admit monitors from established international organizations to Crimea and get out of Crimea.
Ukraine urges all countries to support the resolution on the “Human rights situation in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol (Ukraine)”, which will be presented before the UN General Assembly in mid-December 2016.
Manufactured hate has many faces: racism, religious discrimination, ideological hate of one group against another.
The outcome of inter-group conflict is always human suffering on the one hand, and on the other - a broader social and economic turmoil which halts development. If taken far enough, it opens the door to outright war.
Governments must stand together against propaganda and fear-mongering, we must not reward the results of manufactured hate.