| Danial Norjidi |
YOUTH development is crucial for Asean, and the success in developing its younger generation will determine the future of the region.
This was said by Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Laila Diraja Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Hazair bin Haji Abdullah, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports while delivering a speech as the guest of honour at the Asean Youth Award and Ten Accomplished Youth Organisation (TAYO) Asean Award presentation ceremony at the Royal Brunei Polo Club last night.
The awards ceremony was held as part of the 20th Asean Youth Day Meeting (AYDM), which took place earlier yesterday.
As the minister noted in his speech, “The AYDM highlights the role and contribution of young people in Asean towards the developed and continued prosperity of the region.
“It also continuously provides good opportunities to bring together youths and youth leaders in the region to share and discuss ideas and issues that relate to their own development and other interrelated issues for the good and prosperity of the region.”
Moving on, the minister asserted, “Youth has become the main focus for all countries around the world and especially in our Asean region.”
“The youth are our future. Youth development is very crucial, and for Asean with its young population, the success in developing our youth determines the future in our region.”
He also said that the challenges faced by the new generation are different from before.
“Although education and skills are important, our youth need to be resilient, determined and responsible, not just to themselves, but also to the broader society; society both within and beyond national borders,” he said.
He recounted how the importance of youth in nation building and harnessing youth development to the fullest were highlighted during last year’s Asean Leaders Summit in Brunei, with the leaders emphasising the need to develop youths into future leaders.
“Our youth can be seen contributing to national and regional development by addressing society’s most challenging issues,” he continued.
One such issue is that of unemployment, where he said “our youth have introduced innovative new jobs in the green economy and ICT.”
The youth are also helping to address issues related with under-privileged communities, through volunteerism, developing non-formal and peer-led education in the communities, he continued. They are also helping combat HIV/AIDS through community-based awareness raising projects.
“Time and time again, our youth have shown themselves as powerful players within the global development framework,” he said. “These initiatives have to be acknowledged and tonight’s award presentation is one of the platforms for such outstanding achievements and contributions to be recognised.”
The minister then went on to highlight that, in line with this year’s theme of “Youth as an Agent of Change Towards Development of Community and World Peace”, it is imperative for all Asean youth leaders and youth-led organisations to explore new avenues to promote full, effective, structured and sustainable participation in the development processes, including in the design and implementation of policies, programmes and initiatives beyond 2015 for youth.
“Let the effort to develop our youth be led by our youth themselves,” he said. “It is imperative to create a sense of ownership, responsibility, obligation and duty among the youth to the region.”
After his speech, the minister presented the Asean Youth Awards and TAYO Asean Awards.
In each category, nine recipients were presented awards. For Brunei, Khairunnisa binti Haji Ash’ari won the Asean Youth Award, while Kumpulan Putra Seni won the TAYO Asean Award. Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam also had winning recipients for both awards.
The objectives of the Asean Youth Day Meeting are to enhance Asean awareness, exchange experience, views and ideas among Asean youth and to achieve the goal of pursuing continuous peace, progress and prosperity among Asean youth and to achieve the goal of pursuing continuous peace, progress and prosperity in the Asean region through active and proactive participation of the youth of Asean.
Yesterday’s event also saw the attendance of Datin Paduka Hajah Adina binti Othman, the Deputy Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports as well as Dato Paduka Haji Mohd Hamid bin Haji Mohd Jaafar, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports and Haji Mohd Noor Jusmin bin Haji Abd Samad, the Deputy Permanent Secretary.
Director of Youth and Sports, Haji Abdul Malik bin Haji Mohammad, was Chairman of the event’s organising committee.