Get involved in addressing ASEAN challenges, envoy urges

Rokiah Mahmud

Young people must get involved to address ASEAN’s national, regional and global challenges US Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam Matthew J Matthews said.

“It is my hope that this workshop will help the YSEALI delegates to increase their knowledge and skills in being advocates for gender equality and that each of our own participants will leave with a firm understanding on how to promote the advancement of women in their own communities”, he said during the opening ceremony of Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) Generation Workshop: Advancing Gender Equality at The Rizqun International Hotel, Gadong yesterday.

The workshop is co-organised by the US Embassy in Brunei Darussalam and Wedu, an organisation specialising in women’s leadership development and mentorship.

It serves as an avenue to find collaborative solutions in improving opportunities for women and encourage cross-border cooperation across the ASEAN region.

The five-day workshop gathered 50 participants from 11 YSEALI member countries – Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and Timor Leste.

Legislative Council member Yang Berhormat Nik Hafimi binti Abdul Haadii, US Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam Matthew J Matthews, members of the Diplomatic Corps, participants and guests at the event. PHOTO: BAHYIAH BAKIR

Legislative Council (LegCo) member Yang Berhormat Nik Hafimi binti Abdul Haadii was the guest of honour.

Members of the Diplomatic Community from ASEAN member states, and guest from the United States Mission to ASEAN also attended.

Yang Berhormat Nik Hafimi said the YSEALI programme has been a successful tool in terms of strengthening the people to people relationship that is encouraged within ASEAN and APEC.

“It represents commitments by national governments to strengthen leadership and networking skills among our youth in Southeast Asia. Through commendable programmes on capacity building, cross border cooperation in addressing global challanges and most important is providing positive role models for youth, YSEALI as a programme is ensuring us as a region to strive towards the Sustainable Development Goals”, she added. “As a country with a small population, ensuring fully engaged human capital is crucial for our economic sustainability.

“The workshop, will not only challenge the thoughts and approaches in the region, but will also give impetus to create enabling environments for youth to determine their future,” she said.

The workshop will include networking sessions with peers and mentors, panel session with industry experts, a cultural visit to Teraja Longhouse, and the opportunity to design a project based on the theme ‘Advancing Gender Equality’.

The selected projects will be funded and implemented in their own home countries.