Following the successful First ASEAN Foundation Model ASEAN Meeting (AFMAM) in 2015 held in Malaysia coinciding with the 27th ASEAN Summit, this year’s AFMAM will be taking place in Vientiane, Lao PDR on 1 – 7 October 2016. Vientiane is chosen because Lao PDR is the current ASEAN Chair.
The 2nd AFMAM 2016 will continue to contribute to raising awareness and ownership of ASEAN among the youth through better understanding of the ASEAN decision-making processes and mechanisms which are done through simulation of major annual ASEAN Meetings. Participants to the AFMAM 2016 will have the opportunity to study about the ASEAN Member States when they are assigned to role-play other nationalities. They will also build networks with their peers from across the region.
“Taking part in a Model ASEAN Meeting activity will raise ASEAN awareness among the young people, providing them an opportunity for personal enrichment, as well as a better understanding of the benefits of ASEAN, the regional integration process, and their potential to contribute to the ASEAN Community,” says Elaine Tan the Executive Director of the ASEAN Foundation.
Besides raising participant’s interest in diplomacy, AFMAM will also allow participants to develop soft-skills skills due to the dynamic diplomatic process during the event. The important one is negotiation — the art of making a deal and moderate arguments. As the event necessitates participants to speak up for their position, they will also hone skill in public speaking.
“The thrills of watching participating members pitch their ideas and lobby support for them to reflect their position is very interesting,” says Kim Soon Tan, the 1st AFMAM Alumni from the University Malaysia Sarawak.
To select the participants for AFMAM, the ASEAN Foundation has announced an online call for the 2nd AFMAM application inviting university students in the region to join the event. The applicants were encouraged to register as a team consisting of seven undergraduate students as team members and one faculty member as the team advisor. The selected team will require to participate in a series of online preparatory coaching sessions.
The overall theme of the 2nd AFMAM 2016 is “Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers in ASEAN”.
This is the second time that the ASEAN Foundation is receiving a grant from the ASEAN – U.S. Partnership for Good Governance, Equitable and Sustainable Development and Security or known as ASEAN – U.S. PROGRESS, for one of its flagship programmes, AFMAM. The 2nd AFMAM 2016 is undertaken in partnership with the Institute of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Lao PDR.
“After an extremely successful inaugural run, ASEAN-U.S. PROGRESS is pleased to once again support the ASEAN Foundation to hold the 2nd Annual Regional Model ASEAN in Vientiane,” says Keith Doxtater, Chief of Party ASEAN-US PROGRESS.