December 4, 2019. As part of an ongoing effort to engage youth to more frequently contribute to ASEAN processes and strengthen shared ASEAN identity, the U.S. Government, through the ASEAN-USAID PROSPECT project, is supporting the expansion and replication of the ASEAN Foundation Model ASEAN Meeting (AFMAM) by holding a three-day Training of Trainers (ToT) Program at the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta.
An initiative supported by the Senior Officials Meeting on Youth and the Senior Officials Meeting on Education and implemented by the ASEAN Foundation, the AFMAM provides university students from across the region an opportunity to learn about the ASEAN decision-making process and mechanisms through authentic simulations of ASEAN meetings. The program not only promotes ASEAN and raises awareness among youth on ASEAN’s functions and mechanisms, but also promotes leadership, diplomacy, and public speaking skills for students interested in government and multi-lateral institutions.
With the growing interest in the AFMAM from within ASEAN and from external partners, the ASEAN Foundation recognizes the importance of training a cadre of trainers capable of administering Model ASEAN programs while maintaining the authenticity of the experience. Over the next three days, 27 youth participants from universities across the 10 ASEAN Member States gathered at the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta ToT where they will learn how to organize and deliver Model ASEAN Meetings to future organizers at the country level. The ToT was also attended by members of the ASEAN Foundation and the Committee of Permanent Representatives from ASEAN, including the Chair from Thailand, Her Excellency Ambassador Phasporn Sangasubana.
In her opening remarks, Ms. Elaine Tan, Executive Director for the ASEAN Foundation, stressed the importance of AFMAM as a platform through which ASEAN youth are able to develop deeper understanding of the challenges facing the region, drawing upon a network of AFMAM alumni now numbering over 500 students! Ms. Tan concluded her remarks by expressing her sincere gratitude to USAID for its support to the AFMAM from the beginning in 2015 in Kuala Lumpur and for continuing its support for today’s ToT—support which typifies the spirit of “Advancing Partnership for Sustainability,” the core theme of Thailand’s ASEAN Chairmanship 2019.
In her welcoming remarks, Ms. Julie Chen, Director of USAID’s ASEAN Office, reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to engaging ASEAN’s youth by increasing awareness of ASEAN and its processes and contributing to the capacity of the region’s next generation of leaders. Ms. Chen also stressed the importance of AFMAM as being vital to building the future of ASEAN by creating a path forward for youth to contribute to the ASEAN process and to have a hand in building shared ASEAN identity and a future of mutual prosperity and security.
Through the three-day ToT, participants will learn methods that move beyond theoretical approach and draw upon simulation and role-playing techniques. Participants will be provided with a deeper knowledge of AFMAM rules and protocol, techniques on chairing and facilitation meetings, and participate in consensus building simulations. At the end of the ToT, participants will be equipped with the knowledge and skills to be able to support an AFMAM in their home countries.