JAKARTA, April 8 (Xinhua) -- The fifth ASEAN-China-UNDP symposium was held online on Thursday, discussing how to harness the potential of young people in the Asia-Pacific region to contribute to the realization of the sustainable development goals (SDGs).
The symposium themed Enhancing the Roles of Youth in Achieving the SDGs was part of a long-term partnership to work together to support the acceleration of the SDGs, said a press release from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific, which jointly held the symposium with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) secretariat and the Chinese Mission to ASEAN.
The symposium also discussed the key trends and challenges faced by young people in the region, such as unemployment, education and social and political exclusion, especially within the context of the struggle to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the press release.
In his opening speech for the symposium, Deng Xijun, the Chinese ambassador to ASEAN, said China is willing to work with ASEAN and other parties to strengthen the synergy of their sustainable development strategies and practical cooperation, enable a stronger role of youth in related efforts, find new impetus for China-ASEAN cooperation in sustainable development and build more solid foundation for realizing the 2030 agenda in the region.
"We need to put more efforts to provide youth with the most up-to-date skills, reliable digital infrastructure, and enabling ecosystems for youth to reach their potentials," Kung Phoak, deputy secretary-general of ASEAN for ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community, was quoted as saying in the press release.
According to the press release, the symposium focused on amplifying the involvement of young people in the region with the SDGs, providing a platform for policy makers and stakeholders to share experiences, and exchanging views and lessons learnt on how to enhance the roles of youth in SDGs implementation.
The ASEAN and Chinese youth themselves presented their views on sustainable development and spoke directly about their hopes, needs and the support they seek to foster entrepreneurship and to take on leadership roles, it said.
The one-day meeting, attended by youth, government officials and other stakeholders from the Asia-Pacific region, was the fifth in a row, but first to take place online. Enditem