Fostering ASEAN Youth Collaboration

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Mr Lawrence Wong Engaging Participants in a Dialogue Session at the Youth Model ASEAN Conference

The S Rajaratnam Endowment (SRE), set up to honour Singapore’s first Foreign Minister, sponsored the Youth Model ASEAN Conference (YMAC) that was held in December 2014 at the Singapore Polytechnic campus. The main objective of the conference is to promote a greater understanding of the common challenges faced by ASEAN member states and foster deeper collaboration between them. The programme brought together 200 student leaders from all ten ASEAN countries to engage in dialogues on issues that impact the growth and development of the region, such as disaster management and recovery, economic growth, the environment and education system.

Participants, who went through a stringent selection process of interviews before being invited, engaged in discussions and exchanged views on these important topics over a period of four days. The conference was attended by Guests of Honour Mr Lawrence Wong, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth and Second Minister for Communications and Information, and Ambassador-at-Large Mr Ong Keng Yong.

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About SRE

Launched in October 2014, SRE is named after Singapore’s first and longest-serving Foreign Minister, one of the country’s pioneering leaders and a founding member of ASEAN. SRE aims to achieve development, peace and stability in the region by deepening international friendships, promoting regional cooperation, and fostering a greater and common understanding of international rules, based on the twin pillars of good governance and sustainability.

About S Rajaratnam

One of Singapore’s founding leaders and statesmen, S Rajaratnam was an intellectual, thinker, prolific writer, nationalist and revolutionary who championed Singapore’s independence from colonial rule in his early career as a journalist. As Minister for Foreign Affairs, he widened the international space for Singapore, contributed to its diplomacy and security, and developed a highly competent and professional foreign service, which is well regarded by the international community. In his political career that spanned close to 30 years, he made many witty and hard-hitting speeches, some of which can be found here.

Did you know…

S Rajaratnam was responsible for drafting most of the National Pledge in 1966. His aim was to promote national loyalty and consciousness among citizens following Singapore’s separation from Malaysia on 9 August 1965. The wording of the pledge was based on the belief that Singaporeans could overcome the divisions caused by differences of race, language and religion. The first daily recitation of the pledge before the national flag was carried out on 24 August 1966 by students in schools. Since then, the national pledge has been recited at school assemblies and national day ceremonies.