For Chaichan Kamkom or otherwise known as Kathy, the 5th ASEAN Foundation Model ASEAN Meeting (AFMAM) 2019 gave her one of the most memorable learning experiences of her life. “The overall experiences of 5th AFMAM 2019 were very thought-provoking,” Kathy said.
This impression came after she immersed herself in a series of very enriching discussions about pressing socio-economic issues in the region with many young aspiring delegates from ASEAN and Australia, whom later became her friends.
As one of the Thailand delegates from Thammasat University, Kathy admitted that her insights on ASEAN diplomacy is quite limited. But it did not stop her to form a team with her friends. “My goal in joining the 5th AFMAM 2019 was to sharpen my diplomacy skills,” Kathy said.
From her participation in AFMAM, she learned not only about diplomacy, but also many issues that are related to ASEAN-Australia relation. “I learned that ASEAN countries as well as our dialogue partner Australia have been working closely on certain key areas that are equally important for both sides,” Kathy explained. “Those key areas are counter trafficking, maritime security, digital trade standards, people-to-people exchanges, education and disaster management.”
Kathy’s AFMAM journey was not exactly smooth-sailing, but she welcomed the challenges. Being assigned as the Chairperson of meeting simulations, she confessed that she did a lot of preparation to ensure that she could do her job flawlessly. And she was grateful that the programme trainers provided a clear guidance for her role. “I benefited a lot from the guidelines provided by the trainers to equip us with necessary knowledge on how to led the meeting simulation,” she said. “The constructive feedbacks were especially helpful!”
Her involvement in the 5th AFMAM 2019 made her realise the importance of youth as the future leader of ASEAN. “AFMAM was a wake-up call for me,” Kathy said. “It is important for us as youth to be a catalyst of change and lead this region to a brighter future.”
Therefore, she urged other students to follow her step and join 6th AFMAM 2020. “AFMAM goes beyond fun and challenging,” Kathy said. “It is a place where you get to deepen your appreciation for ASEAN, build your leadership skills, and make new, awesome friends!”
For those who are keen to apply, Kathy has some useful tips. “Be confident and don’t doubt your potentials,” she said. “All these things will come in handy when you face insurmountable challenges not only in AFMAM, but also in real life.”
Written by: Fernanda Rizkianita, Communications Intern