There is a need for exposure and accessibility to education and re-skilling opportunities to equip youth with skills relevant to industries and the future, said Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Nazmi Haji Mohamad during the 1st ASEAN Youth Dialogue in Cambodia on July 25-26.
The responsibility to create a supportive ecosystem should not be the role of government alone but also of youth through mentorship, networking, and sharing of best practices, said the minister.
The minister also emphasised the importance of youth participation in policy and decision making processes, in response to youth delegates’ presentation of policy recommendations to address opportunities and challenges of the Fourth Industrial Revolution in post-pandemic recovery.
He said the interactions between ASEAN and South Korean youth have generated recommendations and networks; and looked forward for the next step of transforming those recommendations into actions, through youth-led initiatives in respective communities, and expand them regionally and internationally, with multisectoral collaboration.
Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Nazmi also shared Brunei Darussalam’s efforts in engaging the youth, following the dialogue’s theme of ‘Youth in the Era of Fourth Industrial Revolution: Opportunities and Challenges in Post-Pandemic Recovery’.
The Year 2022 is designated as the Year of ASEAN Youth, under Cambodia’s ASEAN Chairmanship 2022 ‘ASEAN ACT: Addressing Challenges Together’.
The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of Cambodia, under the framework of the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community Council (ASCC), in collaboration with the ASEAN Secretariat and the support of the government of South Korea, jointly organised the 1st ASEAN Youth Dialogue.
The dialogue was attended by 75 youth delegates from ASEAN member states and South Korea; with the first session held in hybrid format – Virtual Pre-Departure Programme on July 18-20 and second session was On-Site Programme on July 25-26 in Siem Reap, Cambodia.
The ASEAN Youth Dialogue aimed to create a platform for ASEAN and South Korean youth to engage with ASEAN Youth Ministers and key high-level stakeholders such as representatives of international agencies, senior youth governors, youth delegates, NGO-civil society, research institutes, entrepreneurs, private sector and United Nations entities, throughout ASEAN region; and to allow the delegates to formulate ideas and policy recommendations on ways to enhance ASEAN and South Korean youth readiness for the fourth Industrial Revolution and address the challenges of the global pandemic.
The youth discussed ideas and recommendations along eight thematic areas namely governance, science, technology and innovation, future of work, infrastructure and connectivity, inclusive and sustainable growth, climate change movement, narrowing the development gap among ASEAN member states and people-to-people exchange.
The recommendations represented the voices of youth on how the governments of ASEAN and South Korea Korea can learn and work together in pandemic recovery; how technological and social innovations, including inter-generational collaboration can narrow the development gaps between ASEAN Member States in the post-pandemic era; and as well as how cooperation can create more opportunities for youths from both regions to become future-ready.
Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Nazmi Haji Mohamad also attended a closed session to discuss 2022 as the Year of ASEAN Youth.
The ministers agreed that year of ASEAN Youth 2022 is consistent with the post-2020 vision of ASEAN youth development, focussing on fostering 21st Century skills and digital skills and institutionalisation of youth engagement mechanisms, in line with member states’ national priorities; and recommended areas for future collaborations on youth development with ASEAN’s strategic partners.
The ministers agreed that there were several commonalities across national priorities on youth and look forward for more collaboration at the bilateral and regional that build on existing platforms.
The ministers recommended for The ASEAN Leaders’ Statement on the year of ASEAN Youth to strengthen the role of Youth in ASEAN Community Building to be further elevated to the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Youth (AMMY) and ASEAN Plus Three Ministerial Meeting on Youth.
Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Nazmi Haji Mohamad also met with Minister of Education, Youth and Sports of Cambodia Dr Hang Chuon Naron; Minister for Culture, Community and Youth and Second Minister for Law of Singapore Edwin Tong; Secretary of the Central Committee of the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union Nguyen Tuong Lam; and Director-General, National Youth and Sports Department, Ministry of Youth and Sports of Malaysia Mohd Azhari bin Mohammad.
Permanent Secretary (Youth) at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS) Haji Zakaria bin Haji Serudin and other senior officers from the MCYS were also present.