(bendera ASEAN. sumber)

Special Report from

10th AUN Educational Forum and Young Speaker Contest 2008

Universiti Brunei Darussalam

20-27 May 2008

by: Muchdlir Zauhariy

The trend of regionalism and emerging economies e.g. China and India have pushed more countries to cooperate hand in hand with other countries in any sector. The purpose is pursuing competitiveness in international community. For that reason, ASEAN, which was established in 1967, has been doing so. But, what will be in your mind, if you hear ASEAN? Maybe for most of people, it will only remain about ten countries bounded together in an organization. Actually ASEAN means a lot, it is not merely about regional organization comprising of Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, and Vietnam.

ASEAN aims to integrate regional neighborhood with mutual peace, stability and prosperity. ASEAN Visions in 2020 are accelerating economic growth, managing social progress and cultural development as well in the region. In pursuing those visions, ASEAN Community, as fundamental base, will be constructed by 2015. ASEAN Community has three pillars namely ASEAN Security Community, ASEAN Economic Community and ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community.

So far, the main problem faced by ASEAN is lack of awareness among people in its ten member countries. Thus, in promoting the spirit and sense of belonging of ASEAN, the roles of multi stakeholders such as academicians, practitioners and common people are considered to be urgent factor. This is why individual’s involvement is required to disseminate everything about ASEAN. The academicians including lecturer and student in this case, are potential parties.

In boosting the involvement of those two parties, ASEAN University Network (AUN) has been organizing annual event named AUN Educational Forum and Young Speaker Contest. This year, that event was held in Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) Bandar Seri Begawan from 20-27 May 2008. The theme of this event was “How ASEAN Can Move Forward toward ASEAN Single Community”. The two major agendas of that event were educational forum and young speaker contest. The forum was attended by representative universities from all member countries, minus Myanmar-due to cyclone Nargis that swept the country. There were three universities from Indonesia namely University of Indonesia, Institut Teknologi Bandung and University of Gadjah Mada. Each university was represented by one student and one lecture for educational forum and one student for young speaker contest. For educational forum, University of Indonesia was represented by Mr. Edwin Naufsan Nauval (Psychology 2004 and the leader of BEM UI) and Mrs. Kasiyah M. Junus (Head of Sub. Directorate of Student Welfare) and for young speaker contest was represented by Mr. Muchdlir Zauhariy (Accounting 2006).

Before attending the event, each delegate had to submit paper about the theme of the event mentioned above. During the event, Mr. Edwin presented his idea about the vital roles of youth in disseminating the awareness and self belonging to be part of ASEAN people. He suggested that ASEAN needs to have young ambassador to do so. The young ambassador will be the backbone of giving civic education about ASEAN in the society. Mrs. Kasiyah argued that cooperation among people, which is the basis of ASEAN itself, can be started in the university level. Based on her, University is the center of excellent that will provide chances for information and experience sharing, expert sharing as well as mutual assistance among academicians in ASEAN. The programs can be sponsorship and student/lecturer exchange among ASEAN member countries. These programs will strengthen the process of achieving ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community. Mr. Muchdlir Zauhariy proposed to enhance the implementation of social entrepreneurship. Based on him, social entrepreneurship will be appropriate for ASEAN people as it pursues social development and social value by empowering the society. He said that there should be network which is supported by government of all member counties, private sector, as well as AUN itself. In conclusion, all those proposals will hand in hand strengthen the three pillars of ASEAN Community.

The participants of Educational Forum had special occasion to have paper presentation, question and answer session and deeper discussion named ASEAN Youth Summit. All arguments were accommodated and written into joint statement called 1st ASEAN Youth Declaration. The Declaration points out the importance of academicians both students and lecturers in promoting the spirit of ASEAN and awakening people to contribute for the attaining process of ASEAN Community. In doing so, those participants from all countries agreed to build ASEAN Student Association, setting up ASEAN ONE: ASEAN Student Magazine and improving the understanding among ASEAN people by doing sponsorship and exchanges. The declaration will be forwarded into AUN Board of Trustee Meeting in Vietnam next month.

All Indonesian delegates have showed their interest and active participation during the event. They were satisfied with the points contained by the declaration. They hoped that Indonesian students can be the pioneer to make the spirit of ASEAN come true. They hope that the spirit and sense of belonging being part of ASEAN is not centered in the top level party, but also in all level of society. In addition, they swore to extend the commitment of applying the points in the declaration. Indonesian delegates belief that by making mutual cooperation, the integration of ASEAN itself can be attained soon.

During the event, all participants were given chance to explore and deepen the understanding about cross cultures in ASEAN. Participants visited some cultural and tourism objects such as Jerudong Park, Seria Oil and Gas Discovery Center, Kampong Ayer , Royal Regalia Building, Jame’ Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque, Museum Brunei and many more. In addition, the organizing committees conducted campus tour around Universiti Brunei Darussalam for all participants to enhance their understanding about academic life in that university. In a very special occasion, Indonesian delegates were invited by Ambassador of Republic of Indonesia for the Kingdom of Brunei Darussalam, for special dinner and acceptance. In the end of 1Oth AUN Educational Forum and Young Speaker Contest 2008, there was farewell party. Indonesian delegates performed Balinese dance, Folksongs medley, Poco-poco dance and closed by singing Mana Dimana Song. The event was quite successful as it could extend all participants understanding about ASEAN and how to define the precise ways, thus they can do contribution for the development of ASEAN.

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