Secretary Clinton spoke today at the launch of the U.S.-Indonesian Joint Commission Meeting with Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa. The Joint Commission is a key component of President Obama and Indonesia's President Yudhoyono's long-term commitment to broadening, deepening, and elevating bilateral relations between Indonesia and the United States to confront the challenges of the 21st century. Chaired by Secretary Clinton and Foreign Minister Natalegawa, this framework within the Comprehensive Partnership strengthens bilateral collaboration on a broad range of issues in order to promote peace, stability, and economic prosperity, not only for the United States and Indonesia, but also regionally and globally. The Comprehensive Partnership allows our two countries to fully explore and build upon our shared national interests, maximizes cooperation on our mutual priorities, and strengthens the already rich relationship between the people of Indonesia and the United States.
Speaking at the start of the meeting, the Secretary said, "Last year, our two presidents agreed to elevate and broaden the relationship between our two countries, and to forge a comprehensive partnership that is really built on our shared values and interests. I think it is remarkable that the United States and Indonesia are the second and third largest democracies in the history of the world. That's quite a tribute. We may be older, but I think the recent history of Indonesia and the extraordinary commitment that you have made to a future built on democracy is inspiring to us as well.
"We are both diverse societies with traditions of pluralism, tolerance, respect for the rights of women and minorities. We share an abiding interest in a more prosperous Southeast Asia and a more peaceful world. And we applaud the role that Indonesia is playing, not only as an advocate for democracy around the world, but on the environment, on climate change, on so many other critical issues.
"So today, we inaugurate the Joint U.S.-Indonesian Commission. And later this afternoon, we will release a Plan of Action that will guide our cooperation on a wide range of issues. Our six working groups began meeting yesterday. Three are new, and they will shepherd new initiatives in education, climate and the environment, and democracy.
"I especially am pleased to highlight the work we do together to promote democracy because Indonesia's free and fair elections, press freedoms, and vibrant civil society are setting an example for so many other nations. Thirty-six countries, including the United States, attended the second Bali Democracy Forum this year. And I applaud your government, Minister, for the leadership that has been shown."