[About this blog] Inspired by local soccer player Mike Lim during my rookie reporter days at Singapore Polytechnic, I set up this blog in August 2002. I feel that blogging is a novel platform to document interesting facets of my life and my thoughts on certain issues. [Email blogger] ephraim@singnet.com.sg

Monday, March 19, 2007

[ASEAN youths unite]
ASEAN will celebrate its 40th anniversary in 2007. Did you know that ASEAN stands for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and that there are 10 countries that comprise ASEAN?

The ASEAN logo has 10 padi stalks bonded together in the centre. Each padi stalk represents a country - Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

In conjuction with the 40th anniversary celebrations, there's the 5th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting for Youth (AMMY V) rocking youths from around the region from April 24 to April 27. The theme this time round is “Youth: Creating Our Future Together”. It is also the first time Singapore is hosting this mega-gathering.

Apart from that, there's also the 8-day Youth Caucus where 50 youth leaders come together for discussion, interaction, collaboration to tackle youth-related issues and address the concerns of ASEAN youths in the four areas of Education, Employment and Entrepreneurship, Engagement and Environment. Their recommendations will be presented to ASEAN Ministers and Senior Officials at AMMY V.

In Business, Government and Society class today, one of the project groups presented on NGOs and how they tackled the tsunami relief efforts in Indonesia. It was interesting and entertaining.

There was a little skit section showing the US helping Indonesia with their USAID relief programmes.

Singapore also made a little appearance in the form of the Singapore Armed Forces rendering aid to our friends in Indonesia.

But the best thing of all is having to play God in class. All of us had a chance to grade others and to have our presentation graded as well.

It is sad to see how Indonesia is treating their "little red dot" friend now. Surely we did give them all due assistance when we could when they faced a crisis.

Let's hope when youth leaders meet, they will be inspired to do something for the good of all of ASEAN. Let's put our differences aside and move on. Don't these words just sound so familiar?

Share your wish for ASEAN here


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