The First Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) University Student Council Union Conference held from March 13 to 21 in Hiroshima and Tokyo, Japan elected John Derrick Ordoñez, a student of the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB), as its first president.
Ordoñez will represent all Asean youth and leads in formulation of programs and activities of Asean students.
The conference commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and seeks to promote leadership, peace-building, cross-cultural understanding and appreciation of the Asean community.
Over 140 university students from Asean member-states and Japan attended the conference and focused on a theme of “peace and youth leadership in Asean and beyond.”
In her keynote address, Ambassador Elizabeth Buensuceso, Permanent Representative of the Philippines to Asean, cited the “need for the youth to find common issues to unite them despite their diversity just as the founding fathers of Asean did in 1967.”
Under the Philippine chairmanship of the Asean this year, special attention is given to the youth and other vulnerable groups to further strengthen the regional bloc’s people-oriented and people-centered approaches in pursuit of common goals. JAIME R. PILAPIL