Since its founding in 1967, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has made some impressive achievements: it has doubled its membership from five countries to 10, now comprising a combined population of 625 million people; and, it has reached a level of cohesion and integration that is impressive in light of the economic, religious, cultural, and political diversity among its members.
As the association celebrates its 50th anniversary, now is a good time to take stock of the important role it is playing in the region’s politics, economics, and security. It is also a good time to look ahead to challenges ASEAN is facing at the dawn of its next 50 years.
To that end, the Asia Pacific Youth Council (APYC), an initiative of the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, is organizing a three-part event series called “The ASEAN Dialogues.” The first dialogue, to be held on November 9, 2017, will focus on the following questions:
1. What challenges is ASEAN facing, both internally and externally?
2. What strengths does ASEAN have to deal with these challenges? What are its current shortcomings in dealing with these challenges?
3. What should Canada – especially Canadian youth – be doing to make itself better informed and relevant to ASEAN’s next phase?
The first dialogue will kick off with Dr. Paul Evans of UBC, an expert on ASEAN and Asian international relations; the Hon. Neil Frank Ferrer, current Philippine Consul General from the Philippines Consulate in Vancouver; and, Mr. Gordon Longmuir, a retired Canadian diplomat who served in multiple Asian countries. They will provide background and context to frame the discussion. (The Philippines has the ASEAN Chair in 2017). This will be followed by a discussion among participants.
Students and young professionals are especially encouraged to attend.