Manado, North When giving his speech at the National Harmony Week and the opening of the Global Christian Youth Conference at the Sintesa Ballroom of Peninsula Hotel in Manado, Sunday (23/4), Vice President Jusuf Kalla said that the peaceful condition is an important element that supports the government in realizing a just and prosperous society.

“The main goal of our nation is to reach a just and prosperous society. Surely (this) must be supported by hard work and peace as no country will progress without peace. Peace means to give respect to each other and to live in harmony with each other,” said the Vice President.

On that occasion, the Vice President also praised the people of North Sulawesi who live harmoniously and peacefully in diversity.

This is evident, the Vice President pointed out, that although North Sulawesi is geographically bordered by Poso and Ambon –two areas that experienced inter-religious conflict several years ago—this area was not ignited to engage in the conflict. In fact, he added, the province provided a place to accommodate refugees from both conflicting areas at the time.

According to the Vice President, almost all conflicts that occur in the world are triggered by injustice.

“Without justice, it will not be possible for a country to be peaceful,” he argued.

The Vice President added that the state must also be present in fostering harmony between religious communities.

“A conflict does not occur because of religion, but it occurs because of factors outside of religion. If a religion is involved to raise solidarity, people will not be neutral. That is why each of us should know and respect each other,” said the Vice President.

Concluding his speech, the Vice President said that Indonesia is known to the world as a country with a good unity despite various religions, race, color, and language.

“How can we achieve that harmony? By giving priority to similarities and respect for any difference,” he concluded.

Entrepreneurship spirit of the youth

Still at the Peninsula Hotel, Manado, after the event the Vice President received the Central Executive Board of the National Committee of Indonesian Youth (KNPI) that were conducting a national coordination meeting at the same hotel.

During the meeting, the North Sulawesi KNPI chairman Jackson Kumaat representing the organization’s central board told the Vice President that KNPI is currently encouraging its regional offices to develop entrepreneurship among youth. In North Sulawesi province, he added, there are 50 new young entrepreneurs who are also supported by the North Sulawesi governor.

KNPI, added Kumaat, also asked the Association of Young Indonesian Entrepreneurs (HIPMI) to be a partner in supervising this entrepreneurship development project.

The Vice President responded positively to the initiative and advised that the potential of young activists should not only focus on political activities but also on economic development.

Also present at the two meetings were Law and Human Rights Minister Yasonna Laoly and North Sulawesi governor Olly Dondokambey.