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ASEAN leaders hold dialogue with ASEAN youth

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc chaired the ASEAN Leaders’ Interface with Representatives of ASEAN Youth via a video conference on June 26 as part of the 36th ASEAN Summit.

In his opening speech, PM Phuc, who is Chair of ASEAN 2020, expressed his belief that the youth will play a crucial role in successfully building a prosperous ASEAN Community.

He attributed the ASEAN’s achievements over the past more than half of century to common efforts of all people, including the youth who account for one third of the regional population, saying that their passion, creativity and entrepreneurship provide an invaluable resource for the ASEAN Community to gradually overcome difficulties.

The PM also called on the youth to continue upholding the spirit of patriotism, partner with ASEAN governments and people to effectively cope with negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. He wished that they would be more active and take the vanguard in common activities and priorities of the Community, as well as popularise the images of the bloc.

Lauding the ASEAN youth cooperation and joint work between ASEAN and partners over the past years, the leader applauded the key priorities that the youth are promoting this year and committed all possible support for them to actively contribute to the society.

As Chair of ASEAN Youth, First Secretary of the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union Central Committee and Chairman of the Committee on Youth of Vietnam Le Quoc Phong said the governments of ASEAN member states have always paid attention to the development  of the youth over the past years with the issuance of relevant laws, policies and strategies, creating favourable conditions for them to have jobs and grow in the spirit of leaving no one behind.

The ASEAN youth development index has considerably improved over the past time with criteria on education, health, employment, start-ups and youth participation in social affairs, he said.

With nearly 220 million young people, or about 30 percent of the ASEAN population, Phong affirmed that the youth are a key force  in contributing to socio-economic development and ceaseless growth of the ASEAN Community.

Youth representatives also submitted their declaration to ASEAN leaders at the meeting.

Following the event, the ASEAN Leaders’ Interface with ASEAN Business Advisory Council was also held./.