Say hello to Kenneth Nicholas,
A student from University of Indonesia who participated in #AFMAM2018. Kenneth’s love of “all-things diplomacy” and his eagerness to have a first-hand experience on ASEAN meetings propelled him to sign-up for the programme.
Similar to the other participants, Kenneth faced challenges during his time AFMAM. Two of them being to adapt to the dynamics of new team members and the lack of information on the country he represented. He resolved these challenges by having continuous discussion with the team and also by communicating with delegates who came from the country he represented.
He shared “This way I succeeded in getting the information I need, while at the same time making new friends!” He learned a lot from his AFMAM’s journey, but the most valuable takeaway for him is to learn “how intergovernmental organisations cultivate the values of mutual respect and cooperation for sustainable development.” Kenneth left us with a tip on joining AFMAM: “Don’t be afraid to try! Make sure to have a really gender-, age-, ethnicity, and hobby-diverse team!”
Curiosity opens doors of opportunity.
This is what happened with Siriphone Siriphongphanh, a Laotian student who is majoring in Accounting at National University of Laos and Business Administration at Lao-American College, when she decided to take part in the ASEAN Foundation Model ASEAN Meeting (AFMAM) 2018.
To satisfy her own curiosity about how ASEAN does its decision-making process, Siriphone immediately said yes to her friends’ invitation to form a team of 8. Even though she didn’t have prior experience, the excitement of being able to role-play as ASEAN’s senior officials and simulate ASEAN’s high-levels meeting made her fearless. She managed to overcome all obstacles, such as writing a position paper and applying tactics to persuade other delegates, by listening to the advice of her advisor and team members.
Siriphone saw AFMAM as an excellent platform to learn more about international diplomacy, decision-making process, and inter-governmental system. “It was a great self-improvement opportunity to develop my professional and leadership skills,” shared Siriphone. She was also able to make new ASEAN friends!
Tim is one of the participants of the #AFMAM 2018 from the Philippines. He was part of the ‘Sagul Team’ along with his 7 other team members.
When asked about his motivations in joining AFMAM 2018 in Singapore, he was honest and mentioned that it was “To travel, eat and to meet people” and he considered “learning” as a bonus from this experience. He went on explaining how he enjoys the local cuisine when he travels and immersing himself in places that he visits.
He admitted that negotiation was one of the hurdles he needed to face. It required him to let go of his ego and listen to what everyone has to say. “When coming up with the joint statement, not only did I consider my interests, but also the interests of the community. I had to be an active listener.” Thanks to that he managed to win the “Most Diplomatic Minister under ASEAN Political – Security Community” award.
He added that his participation in AFMAM reminded him of the diversity that ASEAN has and ended with a quote “to live a good life is to be a good person to others, regardless of the differences.”