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Students Gather for Second Model ASEAN Meeting

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Over 80 student delegates from ten ASEAN member states gathered in Vientiane yesterday for the Second ASEAN Foundation Model ASEAN Meeting to deliberate on issues related to labour immigration in the context of the ASEAN decision-making processes.

The meeting was organised by the ASEAN Foundation in cooperation with Institute of Foreign Affairs under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Laos.

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Thongphan Savanphet and Development Assistance Coordinator, USAID/Regional Development Mission for Asia (RDMA), US Embassy in Vientiane Ms Miki Scheidel, and heads of government of the Second ASEAN Foundation Model ASEAN Meeting 2016 attended the event.

The Executive Director of the ASEAN Foundation, Ms Elaine Tan, underscored the significant role of the Model ASEAN Meeting in contributing to raising the ASEAN awareness among young people particularly university students while at the same time it allows them to improve their public speaking, research, and negotiation skills as well as provides them a better understanding of the benefits of ASEAN.

“The Model ASEAN Meeting offers increased social interaction among the youth in ASEAN and increase their knowledge about ASEAN member states for common understanding to support the ASEAN Community building process that is people-centred and people-oriented,” she added.

The participating delegates are enthusiastic to participate in the event. They have done some preparation to equip themselves better with broad knowledge about ASEAN and this years’ theme on the “Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers in ASEAN,” Ms Tan said.

Since early September, they have participated in a series of virtual coaching sessions facilitate by the ASEAN Foundation. During the meeting, students will role play senior officials of ASEAN meetings in dealing with labour migration to experience how ASEAN senior officials function at these meetings.

The ASEAN Foundation Model Meeting will allow the participating students to understand better how ASEAN as an inter-governmental system works and to learn about how regional agreements and cooperation are cultivated, Director General of the Institute of Foreign Affairs Mr. Yong Chanthalangsy said in his opening remarks.

“For a few previous and next days, you have lived and worked together and shared some ideas. As a result, you become the members of a larger single community and achieve a much better understanding of each other. Through this understanding you start forging a common vision for our nation which provides the opportunity for friendship established here to go much beyond building a professional network in the future,” he said.

The 2nd ASEAN Foundation Model ASEAN Meeting 2016 is an initiative of the ASEAN Foundation supported by the ASEAN-US Process, a joint project of the government of the United State and ASEAN. This is the second time that ASEAN Foundation has received a grant from the ASEAN-US Process.

“Personally, I find this programme quite challenging because it is my first time joining an ASEAN meeting simulation, which means that I have to start everything from the bottom up. It is also an honour for the Lao team since we are assigned as the Chair of the 2rd ASEAN Foundation Model Meeting. By the end of this programme, I expect that I will possess a solid knowledge about ASEAN, as well as establishing a widened peer network,” a student delegate from Laos, Somleuthay Phalikhanh said.

 

Source: Vientiane Times