In partnership with Politecnico di Milano School of Management and the ASEF University Alumni Network (ASEFUAN), ASEF organised the Model ASEM 2014 on 8-12 October 2014 in Milan, Italy. This was the 6th edition of Model ASEM, which simulates the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) for students to exercise their skills in multilateral negotiations and diplomacy. Through a widely distributed Open Call, ASEF received more than 1,700 applications from Asia and Europe and succeeded in selecting 120 students representing all ASEM member countries.
Model ASEM started with in-depth online preparations by the students on the ASEM process and issues prior to the actual meeting. Keynote speakers at the meeting included Sen. Benedetto DELLA VEDOVA Under Secretary of State, Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs; and Mr Brian TOLL, Policy Coordinator for Asia, Directorate-General for Education and Culture, European Commission. Mr Michael MATTHIESSEN, ASEF’s Governor for the EU and Alternate ASEM Senior Official, presented the ASEM process and its achievements.
A key result of Model ASEM was the development of a Chair’s Statement, similar to the ASEM Summit, which captured the discussions and agreements during the plenary sessions and working groups. In the evaluation after the meeting, the participants expressed that this exercise helped them to improve their skills in public speaking, negotiation and consensus-building as well as intercultural communication.
The main highlight of Model ASEM was the direct engagement of students with the ASEM Leaders. Four student delegates had the honour to personally hand over the Chair’s Statement of Model ASEM 2014 to H.E Herman VAN ROMPUY, President of the European Council and H.E José Manuel BARROSO, President of the European Commission, prior to the 10th ASEM Summit. After the meeting, H.E. VAN ROMPUY twittered “Future of Asia-Europe relations in hands of today’s youth. #ModelASEM helps young Asians & Europeans shape it” and shared a video of the interaction on his official Youtube channel.
Furthermore, several students received invitations by their respective Leaders to meet and share their experiences of Model ASEM, including H.E. Joseph MUSCAT, Prime Minister of Malta, H.E. Didier BURKHALTER, President of Switzerland and Mr Syed Tariq FATEMI, Special Assistant to Prime Minister of Pakistan. These meetings showcased the commitment by ASEM Leaders to engage the youth in the ASEM process.
The valuable results of Model ASEM 2014 have also been acknowledged in the Chair’s Statement of the 6th ASEM Culture Ministers Meeting that took place 18-21 October 2014 in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Spin-off activities of the Model ASEM simulation are planned to be held in France, the Netherlands, Singapore and Viet Nam in 2015 and 2016.
Read more about previous simulations…