Asean Community still a pipe dream?

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 02 Feb 2010

KUALA LUMPUR: There is still a wide chasm between youths in Asean (Association of South-East Asian Nations) countries when it comes to regional cooperation and unity despite efforts by governments here in organising events that can enhance awareness, cooperation and unity.

Deputy Minister of Higher Education Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said the chasm was part of findings by the Asean Foundation in a survey conducted among university students in Asean member countries in 2007.

“With the target of realising an Asean Community within the next five years, it is crucial for Asean governments to understand the concept of youth empowerment,” he told reporters after launching the Asean LOGICS Conference 2010 here Tuesday.

He said youth empowerment aimed to enable youths to think and act on their own issues pertaining to their life such as education, social, economic, politics and others.

“I am aware of the efforts by the Asean Foundation and governments in organising events that can enhance awareness, cooperation and unity among Asean youths.

“But, until and unless we subscribe to a framework and approach of Asean youth awareness, understanding, cooperation and unity that is really and genuinely youth-oriented, we are not going to be very successful,” he added.

Saifuddin said more recognition should be given to official youth bodies such as the Council For Asean Youth Cooperation (CAYC) to conduct programmes for the empowerment of youths.

The Asean LOGICS Conference is an annual programme under the umbrella of the Asean Foundation, organised by the Wawasan Club of International Islamic University of Malaysia to increase awareness among youths from 10 Asean member countries and as a platform to interact and share knowledge between them.

Asean LOGICS stands for Asean Students Engaging Action for Local and Regional Contribution to Society. -- Bernama

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