SIEM REAP, 30 June 2016 – The Second ASEAN-China Youth Exchange Visit under the theme “Education and Leadership” was held from 26-30 June in Siem Reap, Cambodia. A total of 236 participants from ASEAN Member States, the People’s Republic of China, as well as representatives from the ASEAN Secretariat, Mission of China to ASEAN in Jakarta, ASEAN-China Centre and Embassy of China to Cambodia attended the event. This Youth Exchange Visit is a follow-up activity to the First ASEAN-China Youth Exchange Visit: “Roles of Youth in Culture and Tourism,” which was successfully held in Siem Reap in March 2015.
During the programme, youth participants had the opportunity to establish network of contact among their peers through classroom presentation, site visits to Angkor Wat temple and group cultural performances. The three important activities were intended to promote a sense of belonging, good neighborliness and good citizenship between and among all ASEAN Member States and China. Youth participants were able to obtain greater awareness of ASEAN-China cooperation especially in the field of education and leadership. Furthermore, this exchange visit served as a friendly platform for youth participants to share knowledge, experiences and challenges in promoting educational development in their respective countries as well as at the regional level.
This second exchange visit was presided over by H.E. Dr. Soeung Rathchavy, Secretary of State of Cambodia, as representative of H.E. Mr. Prak Sokhonn, Senior Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Cambodia; H.E. Xu Bu, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of China to ASEAN; and H.E. Satr Sokha, Vice President of the Union of Youth Federations of Cambodia (UYFC) and President of the UYFC Prey Veng.
In her keynote address, Dr Soeung Rathchavy stressed that the Second ASEAN-China Youth Exchange Visit is one of the commemorative activities to mark the 25th Anniversary of ASEAN-China Dialogue Relations which was proposed by Cambodia and jointly agreed by all the Leaders of ASEAN and China at the 18th ASEAN-China Summit held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 2015. She further underlined the important role and contribution of youth as future leaders to political, social and economic development of respective countries.
Mr. Sar Sokha recalled the historic inception of the UYFC since 1978 as a non-government organization that contributed to strengthening the solidarity, peace, stability and development of Cambodia. He also highlighted the role of the UYFC on regional and international stage including its winning the “ASEAN People’s Award” 2015 at the 27th ASEAN Summit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; and the Gusi Peace Prize International 2015 in Manila, the Philippines. Mr. Sokha also stressed the important link of education and friendships as a bridge for closer and better cooperation which is a foundation to accelerate economic growth, promote regional peace and stability and achieve national development goals of respective countries as a whole.
Ambassador Xu Bu underscored that ASEAN-China cooperation and youth could always play an important role in carrying ASEAN-China relations forward. He said the program provides the young people from both ASEAN and China with a platform for better communication, deeper understanding and close friendship. He stressed that ASEAN and China should bear in mind broader perspective on ASEAN-China relations and make win-win cooperation truly benefit the countries and peoples of ASEAN and China.
The programme was organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Cambodia with funding support from the government of China, and with assistance from the ASEAN Secretariat.