ASEAN Leaders Must Listen to the Voices of Young People: President Jokowi

By Office of Assistant to Deputy Cabinet Secretary for State Documents & Translation     Date 7 September 2016
Category: News
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President Jokowi attends the Plenary Meeting of the 28th ASEAN Summit on Tuesday (6/9), at the National Convention Center, Vientiane, Laos

President Jokowi attends the Plenary Meeting of the 28th ASEAN Summit on Tuesday (6/9), at the National Convention Center, Vientiane, Laos

Half of Southeast Asia’s 600 million people are young population with something in common: living in the digital and social media era as well as the transparency and competition era. Therefore, ASEAN leaders must listen to them.

The statement was made by President Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo in a meeting with ASEAN leaders and representatives of young people from ASEAN countries on Tuesday (6/9) at the National Convention Center, Vientiane, Laos.

“We, the leaders, want to listen to young people. We want you to tell us how to transform the information, how to reform the people, and how we use our IQ, because you, the young generation, are more advanced than us in the information technology sector, or in transforming agriculture and fisheries, or in improving the Government,” the President added.

In the meantime, Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi who accompanied the President in the meeting said that President Jokowi emphasized the important role the young people play in this transparency and competition era. Moreover, ASEAN is producing a demographic dividend unlike other regions, which have aging population, Minister Retno said.

President Jokowi encouraged the young people to make the brighter future for ASEAN with their skills in information technology sector. The President also called on young people in ASEAN to innovate by capitalizing on the era of digital and social media to spread meaningful messages that will bring positive impacts for ASEAN, the Minister further said.

“Tell us what we must do, tell us how to tackle radicalism that are spread through the internet, and tell us how to make the most of digital technology,” the President said.

However, President Jokowi noted that the young people must get support from ASEAN leaders, so they have the freedom and opportunity to do better jobs. “We need to listen to them, give them opportunity to experiment and to innovate,” the President added.

President Jokowi also mentioned that the efforts made by young people to develop ASEAN community would be hindered with various obstacles and trials. “There are many temptations in this internet era. You may fall into a trap and be obsessed with your careers,” the President stated.

“To all representatives of young people in ASEAN, please do not play Pokemon Go too often,” President Jokowi said jokingly to the laughter from the participants. (EN/ES) (RAS/EP/YM/Naster)

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