Manila, Philippines — The ASEAN Foundation and the Partnerships in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia (PEMSEA) formalized its partnership by signing an agreement during the Special EAS Partnership Council Meeting to support the participation of ASEAN youth at the 2009 East Asian Seas Congress in Manila, Philippines. Through the Japan-ASEAN Solidarity Fund, the ASEAN Foundation co-convened the 2nd EAS Youth Forum and Workshop on Human Resources Development in Coastal and Ocean Governance, two side events at the 2009 East Asian Seas Congress, a region-wide, multi-sectoral conference promoting sustainable management of marine and coastal areas of the Seas of East Asia. The activity aims to provide a venue for the ASEAN youth, coastal resource managers and experts to share, learn and build their capacities to ensure sustainable coastal and ocean use and to contribute in bringing progress and equitable development in the ASEAN and East Asian region.
Around 90 delegates participated in the youth forum and workshop supported by the ASEAN Foundation. In his message, Dr. Uriarte expressed the Foundation's support to PEMSEA in line with the mission to promote awareness of ASEAN especially among the youth, enhance interaction among ASEAN stakeholders and to develop human resources and build the capacities of ASEAN peoples.
The ASEAN Foundation was established by the Leaders of ASEAN in 1997 to promote ASEAN awareness and identity, encourage interaction among various ASEAN stakeholders and help address socio-economic disparity and poverty issues in the region. Since its establishment, the ASEAN Foundation has so far supported over 100 development projects amounting to nearly US$ 20 million and provided training to over 18,000 ASEAN nationals. PEMSEA, on the other hand, was formed in 1994 as a mechanism in pursuit of sustainable development, protecting life-support systems and enabling the sustainable use and management of coastal and marine resources through intergovernmental, interagency, and multisectoral partnerships.