Korea will host the ASEAN-Korea Youth Summit, the first of its kind, from Wednesday to Friday. The youth dialogue, co-hosted by the ministry and the National Council of Youth Organizations in Korea, comes as a follow-up to the 2019 ASEAN-Republic of Korea Commemorative Summit, at which the two sides vowed to enhance people-to-people interactions among the younger generations.
A total of 110 students aged between 18 and 24 from Korea and 10 ASEAN member countries have been invited to engage in discussions on the theme of "Togetherness of ASEAN-Korean youth, for the future of the ASEAN-Korean community."
The summit will be held through virtual meetings due to the coronavirus pandemic. Some parts of the event, including the opening ceremony and guest lectures which will take place on Wednesday at the International Youth Center in Gangseo District, southwestern Seoul will be broadcast in real time through the ministry's YouTube channel.
The participants, divided into six groups, will exchange their views on different topics related to the three key principles of Korea's New Southern Policy ― people, prosperity and peace.
"This youth-led event is very meaningful as the younger generations will grow to become leaders of the future and shape global visions," Gender Equality and Family Minister Lee Jung-ok said in a press release. "I hope for this to be a great opportunity for them to come up with diverse ideas and seek various ways for co-prosperity, as well as establish a sustainable youth network between Korea and ASEAN countries."
The students have been introduced to each other and have familiarized themselves with the discussion topics ahead of the summit through social media and virtual ice-breaking sessions.
They were provided with detailed information for the summit through an online orientation program on Oct. 24. It was followed by a pre-discussion session on Nov. 2, where they took online lectures on their topics and participated in debates under the guidance of facilitators for each group.
They will proceed with actual debate sessions starting from Thursday on specific topics for each group such as "Ways to resolve gender inequality and discrimination against ethnic minorities," "Comparing cultural values of Asian and European countries" and "Pros and cons of digital media and its influence in social integration."
After the discussions, the participants will write reports and letters of suggestion on ways to resolve these issues, which will be sent to various youth-related bodies under international organizations so their suggestions can help them work to resolve the issues.
The summit also includes two guest lectures by inspirational figures. Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, executive secretary at the U.N. Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), will give a lecture on Wednesday on the role of youth in boosting Korea-ASEAN cooperation.
It will be followed by another lecture on youth leadership in the era of digital economy by Chung Ji-eun, head of Codit, a legal and policy data platform company.
"I am looking forward to the summit, as I will be able to learn a lot through the process of publicizing international issues, which I have already experienced once in a model U.N. conference in high school," said Lee Ji-yoon, 20, a participant from Korea.
"I hope this dialogue will help us build solidarity and cooperation between Korea and ASEAN students by sharing diverse opinions on various topics."
Myat Sandar Zaw, 19, a student from Myanmar, said, "Korea and Myanmar have lots in common, especially in our histories. If we keep in mind the lessons we have learnt from the past, we will be able to overcome any difficulties together."
Visit akys.kr for more information, or youtube.com/user/mogefamily to watch live broadcasts of the opening ceremony and guest lectures.