Importance of youth stressed at ASEAN meet

National 2 minutes, 12 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC) council ministers should support and encourage youth participation in any sectoral programmes as their involvement is critical in ensuring the continuous implementation of ASCC’s action plans, said the minister of culture, youth and sports.

Yang Berhormat Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Hj Awg Halbi Hj Md Yusof, who was speaking at the 16th ASCC Council Meeting in Laos yesterday, said that youth involvement would be critical in the successful realisation of the ASCC Blueprint 2025 and its continuity in the future.

The minister also stated that it is equally important for ASCC to disseminate and inculcate ASEAN’s culture, social traditions and values through various mechanisms available, particularly among the younger generation.

YB Pehin Dato Hj Awg Halbi highlighted the important role of culture in the establishment of the ASEAN Community.

He commended efforts by relevant stakeholders in promoting cooperation in culture that would contribute to the establishment of a unique ASEAN identity.

He expressed confidence that efforts made so far will forge a strong common ASEAN identity, and build a caring and sharing society which is inclusive, and one where the well-being, livelihood and welfare of the people are enhanced.

“However, on building a people-oriented, people-centred ASEAN, a key challenge is broadening and deepening appreciation of our cultural diversity, going beyond just showcasing national heritage and pride and elevating it further to be the main platform towards a genuine and lasting regional identity and a sense of ownership amongst the ASEAN people,” the minister said. YB Pehin Dato Hj Awg Halbi called for other sectoral bodies within the ASCC Pillar to embrace the spirit of being aligned, integrated and work together as one, for them to successfully implement their respective work programmes.

Laos Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith officially opened the 16th ASCC Council Meeting, which was chaired by Laos Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism Prof Dr Bosengkham Vongdara.

The 16th ASCC Council Meeting is the final meeting for ASCC under Laos’ chairmanship, prior to the 28th ASEAN Summit to be held in Vientiane from September 6 to 8.

The meeting endorsed several documents which will be submitted to the ASEAN Summit, including the Vientiane Declaration on Reinforcing Cultural Heritage Cooperation in ASEAN and the Bandar Seri Begawan Declaration on Culture and Arts to Promote ASEAN’s Identity Towards A Dynamic and Harmonious ASEAN Community. Also present at the meeting were Ambassador of Brunei to Laos Hj Mohd Na’aim Hj Mohd Salleh, Permanent Secretary of Culture, Youth and Sports Datin Paduka Dr Hjh Norlila Dato Paduka Hj Abdul Jalil and other senior officials of the ministry.

The Brunei Times