MANILA, Philippines – Leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) adopted on Monday, November 13, a declaration that highlights the importance of youth development in the region.
The Philippines’ National Youth Commission (NYC) Chair Aiza Seguerra announced that the ASEAN Declaration on the Adoption of the ASEAN Youth Development Index (AYDI) has been adopted during the plenary of the 31st ASEAN Summit in Manila.
“The adoption of the declaration provides a springboard for initiatives on youth development in the region anchored on the domains and indicators reflected in the ASEAN YDI. These are: education, health and well-being, employment and opportunity, participation and engagement, and ASEAN awareness, values, and identity,” Seguerra said in a statement on Monday.
The AYDI was proposed by the NYC, with Indonesia as the project leader.
Seguerra said the declaration recognizes not only youth’s role in the implementation of the ASEAN Community Vision 2025, but also the importance of regional standards in measuring and monitoring various aspects of youth development.
The AYDI, which is “the first of its kind” according to the NYC chair, is envisioned to “significantly contribute” to the need of the ASEAN in terms of profiling its youth and determining areas that need greater attention and further investment.
Part of the index is a report that shows education has remarkably improved across the region from 2011 to 2015. The same report, however, noted that employment and opportunity still need further youth policy development.
“We are very optimistic that this ASEAN Declaration on the Adoption of the ASEAN Youth Development Index will translate into the formulation of more relevant youth policies, conceptualization of programs, projects and activities, as well as pursue advocacies that will further enhance youth development in general, notably in the areas of economic empowerment and participation,” Seguerra said.
The Philippines presented the final draft of the declaration last September during the 23rd Senior Officials’ Committee Meeting for the ASEAN Socio Cultural Community.
Earlier in April, Seguerra even urged ASEAN youth leaders to promote awareness of the regional bloc.