Justice and prosperity must be the goals of information and knowledge societies, says Bacharuddin Jusuf Habibie. The former President of Indonesia will take part in this year's DW Global Media Forum in Bonn, Germany.
"Advancements in IT have given people better and faster access to information," Habibie remarked in an interview with Deutsche Welle (DW). But in order to reach people, they must be approached in their respective native languages. "The issues are no longer nationalism, religion, faith, ideology and pragmatism, but instead justice and prosperity. We need to change the way we think." People's behavior and values impact one another through the Internet "far beyond borders – and directly penetrate families' lives," said the former head of state of Indonesia.
Habibie will address this year's Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum during a plenary session entitled "Globalization - Friend or Foe of Cultural Diversity and Intercultural Dialogue?" on the second day of the conference. Its overall theme this year is "Culture. Education. Media – Shaping a Sustainable World". Some 1,600 participants from all over the world are expected at the World Conference Center in Bonn from 25-27 June.
Especially for a country like Indonesia, which has experienced years of colonization, good educational systems and an independent media sector are key to meeting the challenges of a globalized world, according to Habibie. "Education and upbringing are an essential part of that, not only in relation to children, but also their parents. To achieve all this, people must be free and independent. So human rights play a key role, as do human responsibilities." He added that democratic values such as free elections and freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and the freedom to form political parties, must be guaranteed.
Habibie was born in Indonesia in 1936 and studied aerospace engineering in Germany at RWTH Aachen University. During Suharto's presidency he served as State Minister for Research and Technology and from 1998 to 1999 served a one-year term as President of Indonesia. Today, he runs a human rights advocacy organization, The Habibie Center,in Jakarta.
The 2012 Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum
Partner organizations of the three-day congress include the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the Confederation of German Employers' Associations (BDA), the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK), the German Development Institute (DIE), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the World Catholic Association for Communication (SIGNIS), the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), CARE Deutschland Luxemburg, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the Commonwealth of Learning and other organizations.
The event takes place under the patronage of the German Commission for UNESCO and is co-hosted by the Foundation for International Dialogue of the Sparkasse (municipal savings bank) in Bonn. It is also supported by the Federal Foreign Office of Germany, the European Regional Development Fund, the Minister of Federal Affairs, Europe and the Media for the State of North-Rhine Westphalia, the City of Bonn, DHL, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the Fritz Thyssen Foundation.