ASEM Day 2017: Promoting the Role of ASEM in Connecting the Youth in Asia and Europe

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs wants ASEM to bring programs and activities that are more practical and real so that the benefits will be felt by the diverse stakeholders. This is the reason the Ministry of Foreign Affairs worked with the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, University of Indonesia (FISIP UI) to hold the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Day at FISIP UI Campus, Depok (13/3).


Themed "Promoting the Role of ASEM in Connecting the Youth of Asia and Europe", ASEM Day focused on increasing the connectivity of youths in Asia and Europe for the progress on both countries.


 “ASEM Day is expected to be able to increase and become the symbol of connectivity between Asian and European societies, especially youth,” said the Ambassador Prayono Atiyanto at the opening of ASEM Day 2017 celebration, representing the Director General for America and Europe, Ambassador M. Anshor.


He added that this activity is part of the ASEM Goes to Campus program, which was initiated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to raise peoples’ awareness of ASEM. ASEM Day celebration was also mandated by the leaders of ASEM at the ASEM Summit in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, July 2016.


The ASEM Day celebration consisted of two activities, a cultural and educational exhibition as well as a talk show. The exhibition was attended by UI and 9 Embassies of ASEM Partners, which are Spain, Philippines, Ireland, Pakistan, Italy, Russia, China, India and Japan, and the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF).


Meanwhile, the Talk show session, which was the culmination of the ASEM Day celebration, presented speakers with expertise on ASEM such as the Director of American and European Intra-Regional and Inter-Regional Cooperation (KSIA Amerop) Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mrs. Dewi Gustina Tobing; Director of the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF), Ambassador Karsten Warnecke; EU Ambassador to Indonesia, Ambassador Vincent Guérend; Head of Miriam Budiardjo Resource Center of University of Indonesia, Mrs. Evi Fitriani as well as Tempo journalist Mrs. Purwani Dyah Prabandari.


The talk show was held at the Juwono Sudarsono Auditorium. More than 160 participants, from students and Embassies of ASEM Partners in Jakarta, had an interactive dialogue exploring the Asian and European youth empowerment and connectivity themes.


 “Through this activity, The participants, especially Indonesian students who attend the event, are expected to obtain more information about the cooperation programs within the framework of the ASEM, notably in the area of youth, that may strengthen the connectivity between Asian and European youth, said the Director of KSIA Amerop Dewi Gustina Tobing.


This ASEM Day activity can be said to have increased the knowledge of the Indonesian youth on Asian and European regional cooperation within the framework of the ASEM. “And awakening the spirit of Indonesian youth to utilize the ASEM programs for the capacity improvement,” explained Dewi Gustina Tobing.


The Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) is a cooperation forum of Asian and European countries established in Bangkok in 1996. ASEM, which consisted of 26 members at the beginning, expanded rapidly to 53 members: 10 ASEAN member countries, 28 European member countries, Australia, Bangladesh, India, Japan, Kazakhstan, Republic of Korea, Mongolia, Norway, Pakistan, China, Russia, New Zealand, Switzerland, as well as the ASEAN Secretariat, and European Commission.


Indonesia plays an active role in ASEM process including in promoting youth cooperation. This is in line with the policy of Indonesia in empowering youth, with the great number of working-age population, the young generation is indeed a valuable and strategic asset for the country.


As the coordinator for the ASEM Education Secretariat for the period 2013-2017, Indonesia encourages the ASEM educational agenda by strengthening educational cooperation between ASEM countries. In 2015, ASEM Forum on Lifelong Learning 2015 was hosted by Indonesia in Bali.


In the list of Tangible Cooperation Area, Indonesia proposed youth cooperation as an important element. Related to this, Indonesia has successfully organized the ASEM Youth Entrepreneurial Meeting: Passion-Preneurs' Challenge Towards 20 Years of ASEM on October 25-28, 2016. Indonesia wants to gain more supports from other ASEM countries in bringing the ASEM agenda to advance youths. (source: KSIA Amerop/Bey/Yo2k)