Prior to his participation in the 5th ASEAN Foundation Model ASEAN Meeting (AFMAM) 2019, Myanmar delegate Hein Min Aung had little knowledge about ASEAN, let alone about ASEAN-Australia diplomacy.
That all changed when he immersed himself in AFMAM experience for the first time. “AFMAM 2019 became the perfect platform to fulfil my passion in learning more about ASEAN and its relations with Australia,” he said. “It also enhanced my diplomatic skills and my sense of belonging as an ASEAN citizen.”
According to Hein Min, two of the most important takeaways from his involvement in the 5th AFMAM 2019 was the insights into ASEAN Community and the hands-on experiences. He gained all these through the meeting simulation sessions in which he played the roles of a Senior Official and Head of Government. “The sessions enhanced my understanding of the importance of youth in building ASEAN Community,” Hein Min said.
Like other delegates, he encountered obstacles along the way. “Having double responsibilities as a Senior Official and Head of Government was very challenging,” Hein Min confessed. “On top of that, working with a diverse team can be challenging. We had to constantly communicate and manage our time carefully.” He eventually managed to surpass that obstacles due to the continuous support provided by his team members.
Overall, Hein Min felt that the whole experiences of AFMAM were very rewarding. “I managed not only to develop my skills but also expand my network in ASEAN,” he said. Hein Min also has a couple of advices for all future delegates. “Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone during your participation in AFMAM,” he urged. “This way you will develop yourself better and faster.”