The EU Delegation to Malaysia holds a kick-off meeting for the EU-ASEAN Young Diplomats Programme (EAYDP), together with key partners

This inaugurates a series of activities that will culminate in the first-ever EU-ASEAN Simulation Exercise, which aims to engage university students in Malaysia and deepen their understanding of the EU-ASEAN Strategic Partnership

EAYDP kick-off meeting

Excitement was in the air as the European Union Delegation to Malaysia (EUD) hosted an Introductory & Coordination Meeting on 6 September 2022 with its key partners for the EU-ASEAN Young Diplomats Programme (EAYDP), namely: the Centre for ASEAN Regionalism Universiti Malaya (CARUM), and the Malaysian Youth Association for Diplomacy and Policy (MYADP). The National Centre for Research on Europe (NCRE), another strategic partner, based in New Zealand, contributed to its conception. This event marked the beginning of an exciting collaboration between the EUD, CARUM, and MYADP.

The meeting kicked off with a welcome message from Mr. Timo Goosmann, the Head of the Political, Press and Information Section of the EUD, highlighting how simulation activities can be a ground to shape future leaders. The event saw good representation from the youth, and was also attended by Mr. Norman Goh, EUD’s Press & Information Officer; Dr. Rahul Misha, CARUM’s Director; and Ms. Carmen Tan Yu Hui, the Head of MYADP.

The EAYDP comes at a significant time, as 2022 not only marks the 45th Anniversary of EU-ASEAN Dialogue Relations, but in December 2022, Brussels will host the inaugural ASEAN-EU Summit. The EAYDP series of activities will culminate with the EU-ASEAN Simulation Exercise, which will bring together 45 aspiring youths from various backgrounds selected from higher education institutions throughout Malaysia. The exercise hopes to harness the power of youth engagement in order to support societal modernisation in Malaysia, as well as the Indo-Pacific region in general.

In conjunction with the European Year of the Youth 2022, EAYDP is an ambitious undertaking that aims to support the EU’s goal to meaningfully engage with politically active youth, who will be key to shaping the future of EU-ASEAN relations. This initiative will impart knowledge to leading university students on the EU-ASEAN special relationship, particularly in the wake of their Strategic Partnership agreed upon in 2020. Just as importantly, the EAYDP hopes to build confidence in the youth participants, and instil in them vital lifelong skills, such as teamwork, diplomacy, negotiation, awareness of communal and global issues, and the ability to engage in respectful dialogue.

The inaugural meeting concluded with all participants expressing optimism for the programme’s long-lasting effects in youth participation and proactive engagement in the region, with everyone unanimously looking forward to the activities to come.

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