To Kuala Lumpur with Love: Insights from the Pearl of the Orient Seas

When I attended the 1st Russia-ASEAN Youth Summit held in Moscow in May 2013, I was not only given the honor of representing my country. It has also been an opportunity for me to visit Russia- a country once confined in my history and literature books, and to learn more on Russia-ASEAN Relations and what mutual benefits can it bring the peoples of Russia and ASEAN. Moreover,my participation in the youth summit paved the way for me to be more interested in Russia’s bilateral relations with the Philippines- an interest which unexpectedly paved the way for me to return once again to Russia in February 2014 for a two-month internship at the Philippine Embassy in Moscow inpartial fulfillment of my college degree.

At present as I look back to the memories and learnings from the 1st Russia-ASEAN Youth Summit, and from my internship at the Philippine Embassy in Moscow, it is with great anticipation and delight that I prepare for my attendance to and participation at the 2nd Russia-ASEAN Youth Summit to be held on 17-19 October 2014 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

I look forward to meet and interact with fellow young people from Russia and our ASEAN neighbors, and be able to exchange ideas on the various possible areas of further cooperation between Russia and ASEAN. In addition to that, the youth summit can also be an avenue for the young people of Russia and ASEAN to exchange ideas on the challenges we face as members of the globalizing world and be able to realize possible ways for us to work hand in hand.

Furthermore in preparation for the youth summit, it is important to note that Russia-ASEAN relations, in the words of H.E. Lim Kheng Hua, Ambassador of the Republic of Singapore to the Russian Federation and then-Chair of the ASEAN Moscow Committee, has yet to reach its full potential due to historical neglect. This is indeed the challenge for us, the young people- the next generation of leaders and citizens of Russia and ASEAN and it is my hope that the 2nd Russia-ASEAN Youth Summit may become one of the avenues in realizing the full potentials of Russia-ASEAN relations for the years to come.

By John Paul P. Mondejar (Philippines),
Delegate to the 1st Russia-ASEAN Youth Summit



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