ASEAN Youths Tackle Regional Issues


A delegate from Cambodia’s Royal University of Law and Economics, Addressing the Skilled Labour Subcommittee at the YMAC

Now in its fourth year, the Youth Model ASEAN Conference (YMAC), supported by the S Rajaratnam Endowment, was held in October 2015 at the Singapore Polytechnic with the aim of fostering wider collaboration, a stronger sense of identity, connectivity and community among ASEAN youths. Ms Josephine Teo, Senior Minister of State, Prime Minister’s Office, Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Ministry of Transport, attended YMAC as its Guest-of-Honour.

Over 200 student leaders from more than 40 institutions of higher learning across ASEAN tackled various regional issues affecting the growth and development of ASEAN, such as the skills and development gap, ICT and cyber security, human trafficking as well as social connectivity and integration. Through to a series of visits to various institutions in Singapore, breakouts sessions and workshops, they gained a deeper understanding of issues facing the region, and discussed and debated possible courses of action for ASEAN, in order for it to reach its development goals amidst the current global changes.

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About the YMAC learning visits

Participants took part in a series of learning trips to glean from the experiences of successful institutions in Singapore. This included a wide breath of organisations such as:

• The Lien Centre for Social Innovation – Delegates attended a session on Lien’s research, which addressed the development gaps via partnerships linking public, private and social organisations.
• The Temasek Culinary Academy at Temasek Polytechnic – Participants attended a facility tour and sharing by Culinary Academy instructors on how students could be equipped with relevant skills for the industry.
• The Infocomm Development Authority – Delegates saw demonstrations of types of cyber attacks and learned about the countermeasures used in cyber security.
• The Humanitarian Organization for Migration Economics (HOME) – Participants attended a sharing session about HOME’s work with migrant issues and their advocacy against human trafficking.
• The Maritime and Port Authority – Students learned about the evolution and development of port infrastructure in Singapore.
• The Peranakan Museum – Delegates explored the various aspects of hybrid Southeast Asian culture.

Watch some of the YMAC highlights

Did you know…

Although relationships between member states may occasionally encounter some tension, no armed conflict has ever erupted between them, since ASEAN’s inception in 1967. This long period of peace and stability has contributed to unprecedented economic and social progress in the region.