MANILA–The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is pursuing efforts to improve the welfare of the youth and recognizes its contribution on ensuring the development of the region.
Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Judy Taguiwalo said ASEAN heads of state expressed their support on encouraging youth entrepreneurship and volunteerism during their interface meeting with youth representatives held Saturday at the Philippine International Convention Center.
Taguiwalo particularly cited Indonesian President Joko Widodo who encouraged youth leaders to ensure that social media is utilized to enhance the objectives of ASEAN in preparing the youth for future leadership.
“I was happy to be part of the interface; to be able to listen to what the youth representatives said and the expressions made by the heads of state. It is really a recognition that the ASEAN future lies with the youth,” the social welfare secretary said in a press briefing held at the ASEAN International Media Center in Pasay City.
National Youth Commission (NYC) chairperson Aiza Seguerra has earlier stated that the draft ASEAN Youth Development Index (AYDI) is now making rounds among the leaders of the ASEAN member states for comments and inputs.
The AYDI was proposed by the Philippines through the NYC with Indonesia as lead coordinator and is supported by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). It is a document that will provide better perspective of the ASEAN youth’s aspirations in various aspects of their lives and boost the conceptualization of programs, projects and activities that are geared towards furthering ASEAN development.
The initiative will boost the implementation of the ASEAN Work Plan on Youth 2016-2020 which would focus on five priority aspects –youth entrepreneurship, youth employment, youth awareness, youth volunteerism and leadership, and youth resilience.