ASEAN leader conducts dialogue with bloc youth

April 22, 2024 - 17:55
ASEAN Secretary General Kao Kim Hourn reaffirmed ASEAN leaders' commitment to empower the youth to unleash their full potential, stressing the position of youth in the ASEAN Community Post-2025 Vision that is being crafted.
ASEAN Secretary General Kao Kim Hourn delivered the keynote speech at the interface with ASEAN youths on Monday. — VNS Photo

HÀ NỘI — ASEAN Secretary General Kao Kim Hourn on Monday took part in a dialogue with ASEAN youth held at the Diplomatic Academy of Việt Nam (DAV), as part of the activities for the 2024 ASEAN Future Forum (AFF) to be held in Hà Nội on Tuesday.

DAV Acting President Phạm Lan Dung said the dialogue represents the commitment to "empower the next generation of leaders and change makers," recognising the crucial role that the youth play in shaping the future of the region.

"The creativity, entrepreneurial spirit and passion of young people have the power to drive positive change and contribute to building a more resilient and more interconnected community," Dung noted, saying that this interface, which provides a platform for meaningful dialogue and exchange between ASEAN youth and ASEAN leaders, will help foster open communication across generations of ASEAN citizens.

"This can enable us to work together to address the challenges facing our region and create a brighter future."

Nguyễn Tường Lâm, secretary of the Central Committee of the Hồ Chí Minh Communist Youth Union cum permanent vice chairman of the National Committee on Youth of Việt Nam, said 215 million youth in ASEAN region, one third of the overall population, offer great contribution to each country's development as well as shape the nation's future.

Lâm stressed that together with the growth of the ASEAN community, the association as well as each member state have paid greater attention to the youth, with laws and strategies specifically targeting this demographic, ensuring their access to education and training and comprehensive physical and mental development, along with job opportunities.

Việt Nam's National Assembly in 2020 has issued the Law on Youth, which outlines the rights and responsibilities of youth, and the Government has issued the Vietnamese Youth Development Strategy for the period 2021-30, Lâm noted, adding that the Prime Minister and leaders of ministries and localities make sure to hold annual conversations with young people.

He said young people's voice, aspirations and ideas must be heard, received, recognised and incorporated into ASEAN law-making decisions, to make sure that regional strategies and policies can meet the demands of young people.

Young people also need to be mindful of their role, proactive in their contributions to the development of their nation and the region, active in raising their voices in forums and engaging in exchange events to build a network of youths in ASEAN, according to the Vietnamese youth leader.

Secretary-General of ASEAN Dr. Kao Kim Hourn in conversation with ASEAN youths at the event held at the Diplomatic Academy of Việt Nam in Hà Nội. — VNA/VNS Photo

The ASEAN Secretary General lauded the efforts to promote volunteerism stressing that it served as a fundamental pillar of youth engagement in regard to collective efforts to shape the future of ASEAN.

Secretary Kao said the volunteer activities should be cultivated and expanded, to promote understanding, unity and progress, and that through the ASEAN volunteerism platforms the youth can build bridges and friendships across boundaries.

He also reaffirmed the ASEAN leaders' commitment to empower the youth to unleash their full potential, stressing the position of youth in the ASEAN Community Post-2025 Vision that is being crafted.

The ASEAN official wants to send a message of 5Cs to the youth representatives: Commitment – commitment to the country and the region and the people; Communities – starting from your own family, from your country, and to the ASEAN Community; Contribution – contribution to the community, to the country, and to ASEAN; Catalyst – catalyst for changes, for development; Champions – champions of peace, of prosperity, of the planet, and inclusive growth.

The same day, Minister of Foreign Affairs Bùi Thanh Sơn, together with ASEAN Secretary General and DAV's Acting President, presided over the inauguration ceremony of the ASEAN Square at Building D, within the main campus of DAV.

The square will have educational significance for DAV students about the importance of ASEAN as well as the spirit of proactive, positive and responsible international integration, demonstrating Việt Nam's commitment to ASEAN cooperation. — VNS