With the theme, “ASEAN Youth: Advocates of Environmental Sustainability,” 132 delegates comprised of students and faculty members from the Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) member countries attended the ASEAN University Youth Summit (AUYS) 2017 at DLSU-D from January 9 to January 13.
The four-day summit aimed to promote the role of ASEAN youths to pursue the integration of the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community, particularly on environmental sustainability, and to empower them to realize the importance of their capacity as agents of environmental sustainability.
Apart from that, the said summit intended to create an opportunity for the youth to get a chance to learn and exchange the culture, knowledge, and experiences of the ASEAN countries.
Delegates from the 10 ASEAN member countries gathered to present their cultural dances at the Salrial Hall, DLSU-D.
This year’s AUYS focused on discussing the state of the environment and biodiversity in ASEAN countries, including the issues in climate change and capacity-building on youth engagement and environmental education.
According to the AUYS’ website, during the deliberation and bidding for the hosting of this year’s summit, the Philippines was unanimously chosen to host the event, coinciding with the Philippines’ ASEAN chairmanship in Davao City on January 15.
The ASEAN member countries which participated in the summit are Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam excluding South Korea.
AUYS 2017 chairwoman Chealyn Lleno said that the Philippines was chosen to host this year since Indonesia and the Philippines had the most number of participants during the last AUYS held at the Sumbawa University of Technology in Indonesia, wherein she and 29 other AB Development Studies students attended the said event.
“When we met all the professors in different countries—all of them—unanimously, they identified Philippines as the next host of the AUYS 2017,” Lleno said.
In addition, Malaysian delegate Nur Fatihah Binti Ismail shared that AUYS is her platform to get acquainted with other ASEAN member countries.
Meanwhile, Indonesian delegate Fadya Widi Seputri who is studying in an agricultural university said the environmental advocate speakers helped her to get the information she needed.
The AUYS is a gathering of the ASEAN youths including young professionals where they can exchange ideas, plan collaborative action, and reach agreements about the ASEAN community.
Furthermore, the AUYS had its first summit in 2015 at the University Utara Malaysia with the theme, “Forging 1-ASEAN Youth Network through Volunteerism,” while the second leg in 2016 was held at the Sumbawa University of Technology with the theme, “Social Entrepreneurship as Main Character of Future ASEAN Generation.”
Meanwhile, Thailand will host the next AUYS for 2018 which will be held at Thaksin Univeristy and Suan Dusit University.