KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi called on youths in ASEAN countries to uphold peaceful methods in settling differences and disputes among themselves.
Upholding peaceful in settling differences had becoming more important as the regional grouping inches closer to realise its ambition of forming the ASEAN Community this year, he said.
In making the call at opening of the ASEAN+ Young Leaders Summit (AYLS) in Malaysia’s capital Wednesday, Ahmad Zahid, who is also Home Minister, said ASEAN’s youths must respect cross-cultural obligations in the region.
“We have to appreciate the effort from our forefathers and the peace in the region will be continued by its young leaders. This is the hope for every young leaders in this region and all over the world,” he said.
In his AYLS programme booklet message, Ahmad Zahid said he believed that youths in ASEAN would be the key to the advancement of this region in becoming an economic powerhouse.
He pointed out that the current leaders strived to integrate and solidify the young leaders engagement in developing a progressive and inclusive regional mindset for an ASEAN community, that is economically, socially and environmentally sustainable.
“Apart from sharing current issues surrounding them, youths are encouraged to provide effective solutions not only at the national level, but at the ASEAN level too.
“It also emphasises on the importance of regional integration and cohesiveness while embracing differences and diversities,” he said.
The three-day AYLS 2015 starting today, provides an optimal platform for participants from diverse backgrounds to interact, discuss and brainstorm various issues and challenges facing the youths in the region.
ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. – BERNAMA