The ASEM Youth Dialogue on the New Security Challenges held from 2nd-5th September, 2003 in Cebu, Philippines was entitled `Root Causes of Conflict and the Role of the Youth.’ It was co-organised by ASEF and the Ayala Foundation, with support from the Philippine National Youth Commission.
Resolving threats of terrorism, inter-ethnic/inter-religious friction, and transnational crime is no longer the domain of adults. Over fifty young people working on security-related issues in government agencies, NGOs, think tanks, youth and cultural organisations met to exchange perspectives and articulate common views on the theme.
The ASEM Youth Dialogue in Cebu was more than just a debating forum. It provided young people from Asia and Europe the chance to recommend a joint strategy and joint measures that could be taken at the different levels within the ASEM framework in order to address the new security challenges. These recommendations were included in the ASEM Youth Statement adopted at the final plenary session.
Participation coming from all sectors in society was seen as a key factor in combating terrorism and other new security challenges. Emphasis was placed on what the youth can and should do to make the world a more secure place. The youth also acknowledged the number of initiatives already being undertaken at the inter-governmental level, noting that ASEM should strive to set the pace for closer co-operation on the new security issues for the wider international community.
The statement was accepted by National Security Adviser Roilo Golez, on behalf of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. In her acceptance statement read by Rep. Golez, President Arroyo gave her assurance to pass the ASEM recommendations to concerned government agencies and to the build relevant programmes and projects.