CAS student joins ASEAN-China young leaders’ summit

By Daniel P. Tapaoan, Jr. 


A student of the MMSU College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) joined the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) - China Young Leaders’ Summit (ACYLS) this year. 


Sean Keith Q. Rafael, a senior Bachelor of Arts in Sociology student, was one of the 12 representatives from the Philippines and among the 80 delegates from 10 Southeast Asian countries who qualified in the ASEAN-China summit from September 23-26.


The delegates virtually participated in the Model-ASEAN meetings where they engaged in discussions on economic, political security, and socio-cultural levels. 


Rafael was cited as one of the outstanding participants in the summit. He received an honorable mention award for his effective role as minister of foreign affairs for the Socialist Republic of Vietnam under the Political Security Community Council. (The ASEAN Foundation designated the delegates’ roles in the meetings.)


The sociology student said the ACYLS enabled him to know more about ASEAN-China relations. 


“Through the summit, I was able to expand my personal network and to contribute in the discourse on economic integration, sustainable environment development, transnational security cooperation, education, and culture,” he expressed. 


He applied for the summit by submitting an essay, a 1-minute and 30-second introductory video, and recommendation letter from Dr. Jan Rich Guira, chief of Student Development Unit under the Office of Student Affairs and Services. He was among the eight MMSU student-applicants. 


The CAS, through its Planning and Development Coordinator, Prof. Danica Hanna Pastor, and the External Linkages and Partnerships Director, Dr. Mee Jay A. Domingo, facilitated his application process. 


The ASEAN Foundation rigorously selected a number of participants from the Philippines (12), Brunei Darussalam (2), Cambodia (11), Indonesia (13), Lao PRD (3), Malaysia (12), Myanmar (8), Singapore (4), Thailand (4), and Vietnam (11). 


Held annually by the School of International Studies and Southeast Asian Association of Peking University in Beijing, China, the ACYLS aims to increase youth awareness of regional affairs and ASEAN mechanisms, and provide a platform for cultural exchange. It is sponsored by ASEAN-China Cooperation Fund and supported by the Mission of the People’s Republic of China to ASEAN. 


This year’s summit was themed “Commemorating 30 years of ASEAN-China Dialogue Relations: Strengthening Partnerships for the Next Decade and Beyond.” (StratCom)