From April 1 to April 3, Cambodia – our Kingdom of Wonder – is going to host a historical event that will bring together the greatest leaders and minds across Southeast Asia : the 20th ASEAN Summit.
ASEAN is comprised of 10 member countries. Every year, the chair – the country in charge of the Summit – changes.
Last year, Indonesia was the chair to the ASEAN summit. During the 19th Summit last year, leaders addressed concerns and hot issues that affected the whole of Southeast Asia.
For example, the ASEAN Youth Forum, part of the agenda setting for the Summit, makes the young generation an integral part of the discussion.
During the ASEAN Youth Forum in 2009, Thailand raised concerns over the quality of education. And through meetings and discussions, a new joint statement was born: “Empowerment through education”.
Cambodia, as the new chair, is ready to tackle issues head-on in order to make the ASEAN Community a reality the Kingdom can benefit from by 2015.
According Mr Sok Thea Vuth, the founder and president of Cambodian ASEAN Youth Association (CAYA) – who will represent Cambodia at both the Youth Forum and the Summit – said: “For the ASEAN Youth Forum, we’re prepared to raise concerns over youth employment, health, economic participation, political involvement, cultural diversity and networking”
This is the second ASEAN Summit to be held in Phnom Penh – the first was in 2002, the Eighth Summit. It’s been a long time in our country’s development since then, and young Cambodians are looking forward to see how far we’ve come, and how much further we can get.