PHNOM PENH, 18 October 2017 – The Regional Workshop for East Asian Volunteers’ Programme is being held on 15-19 October in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The key objectives of this workshop are to strengthen existing programmes and various strategies to support institutional building and enhance skills of participants as well as to promote people-to-people connectivity through tourism and cultural exchanges.

Dr. Sok Siphana, Advisor to the Royal Government of Cambodia, presided over  the opening ceremony with the presence of other relevant officials and stakeholders from public and private sectors of ASEAN and the Plus Three countries – China, Japan and Republic of Korea. In his opening remarks, he reiterated that sharing and exchanging views, experiences, mutual understanding, and compromise are very critical not only in developing the roadmap towards an East Asian community building, but also in establishing long-term relationship among ASEAN and the Plus Three countries.

Mr. Hor Monirath, Under-Secretary of State of the Ministry of Tourism, highlighted key issues going forward. This included the promotion of people-to-people connectivity, the strengthening of cooperation and mutual support for building a high quality, responsible, and sustainable tourism sector to bring about tangible and practical benefits that would advance the development of the Roadmap for an East Asian Volunteers’ Programme.

Meanwhile, Ms. Rhea B. Penaflor, a Commissioner of the National Youth Commission of the Philippines underscored the significance of youth involvement in community-based programmes including turning crisis into opportunities and making a positive change. According to her, youth has power to make a brighter future and prosperous societies and that necessary skills are mandatory for the empowerment of youth.

This workshop was organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport of the Kingdom of Cambodia with the support from the ASEAN Plus Three Cooperation Fund. Over 50 officials and representatives from the ASEAN Plus Three countries attended the workshop.