Asia Is Century’s Big Changemaker
“Asia is the big changemaker of the century. We look to it for inspiration for our work in Germany and around the world,” said FNF Chairman of the Board of Trustees Dr. Juergen Morlok who was in a short visit to Southeast Asia in November 2017.
Looking to the future
Dr. Morlok presented FNF’s Global Innovation Hub to the public in an event in Hong Kong on 7 November 2017. As the Foundation focuses more on digitalization, it continues to search for best practice models where technology is used to build a better, more inclusive, and freer society.
Hong Kong is considered one of the most high-tech cities in the world. In a report by the World Economic Forum that ranks 85 cities according to technological advancements, Hong Kong “hits just about every box in terms of advancement.” The criteria included startups and innovation. Hong Kong, which “devotes enormous amount of money toward research and development, and city-wide innovation” ranks 22. Berlin is number 21, boasting a strong startup culture.
Seoul, South Korea (5), Taipei, Taiwan (6), and Singapore (8) also made it to the list.
Human Rights-Friendly City
Dr. Morlok also swung by Jakarta to meet with FNF Indonesia’s political partners. He was welcomed at the National Awakening Party’s (PKB) Headquarters by party Secretary-General Abdul Kadir Karding. In their meeting, Dr. Morlok raised the issue of the growing religious intolerance in Indonesia.
The latest figures from 2016 from the Wahid Institute, a local NGO, recorded 204 violations against religious freedom in a year, a 30% increase since 2014. Indonesia’s tradition of pluralism had been strained - places of worship were sealed, construction of new ones has been prohibited, and rituals have been obstructed.
Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo rejects intolerance, recently appointing a special envoy for religious harmony.
Dr. Morlok with FNF Indonesia Country Director Moritz Kleine-Brockhoff reaffirmed FNF’s commitment to promoting tolerance. “Tolerance is about appreciation of diversity, and respect for human rights,” commented Dr. Morlok.
FNF Indonesia has been in Indonesia since 1969. Its partners include the Wonosobo Local Government, one of the regencies in Central Java, known as the Human Rights District. Dr. Morlok went to the city to attend a workshop on human rights and the social development goals (SDGs).
“The establishment of Human Rights-Friendly City is commendable because promotion and protection of human rights is not easy,” remarked Dr. Morlok.