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Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Over 80 Student Delegates Gather in Vientiane for the Second ASEAN Foundation Model ASEAN Meeting

Vientiane, Lao PDR (04/09) – The ASEAN Foundation is organising its Second Model ASEAN Meeting (AFMAM) in Vientiane, Lao PDR from 2 October to ‎6 October 2016. Taking place at the International Cooperation and Training Centre (ICTC), this year’s AFMAM gathered 80 undergraduate students and 10 academic advisers to deliberate on issues related to labour migration in the context of ASEAN decision-making processes. Students will role-play senior officials of ASEAN meeting dealing with labour migration to experience how ASEAN senior officials function at these meetings.

These students were selected from 30 different universities across ASEAN to participate in the event. AFMAM student delegates are between the ages of 18 to 25. They formed 10 groups representing 10 ASEAN Member States in which each group is made up of seven university students and one group advisor. One team of eight students who are the majority of them are AFMAM 2015 alumni will role play the ASEAN Secretariat. Moreover, AFMAM participants are assigned different nationalities to allow the opportunity to learn more about another ASEAN Member State and better understand the position of the national governments they represent.

The Executive Director of the ASEAN Foundation, 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 increases 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.” Since early September, they have participated in a series of virtual coaching sessions facilitated by the ASEAN Foundation.

“Personally, I find this program 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 also an honour for Lao PDR team since we are assigned as the Chair of the 2nd ASEAN Foundation Model ASEAN Meeting. By the end of this program, I expect that I will possess a solid knowledge about ASEAN, as well as establish a widened peer network,” a student delegate from Lao PDR, Somleuthay Phalikhanh said.

The 2nd AFMAM 2016 is an initiative of the ASEAN Foundation supported by the ASEAN-U.S. PROGRESS, a joint project of the Government of the United States and ASEAN. This is the second time that ASEAN Foundation is receiving a grant from the ASEAN-U.S. PROGRESS.

“ASEAN-U.S. PROGRESS is pleased to once again support the ASEAN Foundation to hold the 2nd Annual Regional Model ASEAN in Vientiane. This event raises awareness about ASEAN and how it functions as well as giving selected youth from across the region an opportunity to walk in the shoes of their leaders as they grapple with some of the most challenging issues facing ASEAN,” said Keith Doxtater, Chief of Party ASEAN-U.S. PROGRESS.

H.E. Amb. Yong Chanthalangsy, Director General of the Institute of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lao PDR on his opening remark at the 2nd AFMAM opening ceremony noted that the ASEAN Foundation Model ASEAN Meeting will allow the participating students to understand better how ASEAN as an inter-governmental system works and to learn how regional agreements and cooperation are cultivated.
“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 nations which provides the opportunity to the friendship established here go much beyond building a professional network in the future,” said the Ambassador Yong to the 2nd AFMAM student delegates.
The ASEAN Foundation is pleased to partner again with the Maybank Foundation in Malaysia on this initiative, and the Foundation also appreciates the support from KBZ Bank, part of the KBZ Group of Companies in Myanmar for this event.

Contacts for the media:

  • Uni Prayuti, Senior Programme Officer, the ASEAN Foundation; email: uni@aseanfoundation.org
  • Masayu Yulien Vinanda, Communications and Marketing Manager, the ASEAN Foundation; email: masayu.vinanda@aseanfoundation.org

Notes to Editor
About ASEAN Foundation
Three decades after ASEAN was established, ASEAN leaders recognized that: there remained inadequate shared prosperity, ASEAN awareness and contact among people of ASEAN. It was of this concern that ASEAN leaders established ASEAN Foundation during ASEAN’s 30th Anniversary Summit in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia on 15 December 1997, ASEAN Foundation is an organisation from and for the people of ASEAN. The Foundation exists because of one vision: to build a cohesive and prosperous ASEAN Community. As an ASEAN’s body, the Foundation is tasked to support ASEAN mainly in promoting awareness, identity, interaction and development of the people of ASEAN. For more information, visit www.aseanfoundation.org

About ASEAN U.S. PROGRESS
The ASEAN-U.S. Partnership for Good Governance, Equitable and Sustainable Development and Security (PROGRESS) is a joint project of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), U.S. State Department, and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which aims to support ASEAN’s vision of a Southeast Asia “living in peace, stability, and prosperity.” The five-year program strengthens institutions to advance ASEAN’s vision for political-security and social-cultural integration by improving social protections for vulnerable populations, promoting regional leadership, and sharing knowledge and technology across ASEAN Member States (AMS).

About IFA
Founded in 1993, The IFA is made up of four main divisions namely: Administrative Office, International Cooperation, Research and Training Divisions. We perform the following functions: 1).Conducts strategic studies and research on current regional and international issues and events so as to provide recommendations on foreign policies and international relations to the Lao government. In addition, we also wrote a number of books on cooperation between Laos and its stake holders, which can be one of the helpful information sources for students and those are working in the areas of cooperation and foreign affairs; 2).Designs, plans and persistently offers a wide range of professional development programs both short and long terms to Lao government officials and constantly trains diplomats from both central and provincial levels in the fields of international relations, diplomacy, foreign languages, protocol and essential skills related to foreign affairs, and 3). Cooperate with International organization and foreign embassies to Laos and beyond. Until now, we have signed MOUs with 9 Institutes, one of which is the Foreign Service Institute of the Philippines. IFA is a member of ASEAN -ISIS, NEAT, NACT and BOAO.

About KBZ Group
The Kanbawza (KBZ) Group of Companies was founded by U Aung Ko Win in 1994 and now has more than 81,000 employees. It is one of the largest privately owned diversified group of companies in Myanmar and has a core principle to strengthen the country and its people. With its roots in a family business, the family’s core values are integrated within the corporate values. It is recognized to be the leading philanthropic organization in Myanmar and has been internationally awarded for its CSR initiatives. It comprises of industry leaders in mining, banking, finance, aviation, insurance, manufacturing, agriculture, real estate, trading, healthcare, tourism and hospitality. It's main assets include: KBZ Bank, I-KBZ, KBZ Gateway, KBZSC, Myanmar Airways International, Air KBZ, the Kempinski Hotel (NPT) and the Brighter Future Myanmar Foundation. For more information, visit: http://brighterfuturemyanmar.org/