From 30 July – 4 August 2019, ASEF brought together 14 students and young professionals in Malta, to participate in the first-ever Model ASEM Mediators Training. The cohort was made up of both Asian and European ASEFEdu alumni and partner-nominated participants. The training was organised in preparation for, and in the lead-up to the 9th Model ASEM, which will be held 11-16 December 2019 in Madrid, Spain, in conjunction with the 14th ASEM Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (ASEMFMM14). In Spain the Model ASEM Mediators will act as Resource Persons, leading the various sessions as Chair, Vice-Chair, Moderators and Rapporteurs.

The 6-day programme in Malta was made up of 2 parts: The initial 3 days, the first part of the training, gave the Model ASEM Mediators the opportunity to get to know one another and get equipped with in-depth knowledge on the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Process as well as on moderation and facilitation within the framework of the ASEM Process. As part of the programme, Mr Claude BONELLO from the Maltese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion shared his experience of the ASEM Process, from the point of view of a diplomat. As a Director in the Directorate General of Political and EU Affairs, he explained his role during ASEM Senior Officials’ Meetings (SOMs) and how he assists the Maltese Foreign Minister during ASEM Foreign Ministers’ Meetings (ASEMFMMs). The Model ASEM Mediators also joined a live webinar conducted by Dr Jürgen RÜLAND from the University of Freiburg, Germany, which strengthened their understanding of multilateralism – a topic of thematic relevance to the 9th Model ASEM.

The following 3 days – in the second part of the training –the Model ASEM Mediators practiced the skills they’d learnt as they participated in the Model ASEM Spin-off Malta 2019 conference at the historical University of Malta (Valletta Campus). Through this Model ASEM Spin-off event, which was supported by ASEF and jointly co-organised by the Malta Model United Nations Society (MaltMUN), the University Students’ Council (Malta) (KSU) and the National Youth Council of Malta (KNZ), the Model ASEM Mediators also had the opportunity to interact with other, mainly local youth, while simulating the drafting of the Model ASEM Chair’s Statement. The Model ASEM Spin-off concluded with an intimate session with H.E. Evarist BARTOLO, Minister for Education and Employment of Malta. In his usual style, he ended the session with a book he recommended everyone to read: Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor FRANKI.

Photos from both the Model ASEM Mediators Training and the Model ASEM Spin-off Malta 2019 conference have been published on ASEF’s Flickr account.