We had the honor of welcoming Ms. Anthea Ong (Former Nominated Member of Parliament of Singapore, social advocate, impact entrepreneur and investor, leadership speaker and coach), Ms. Casimir Durgashni (Senior Assistant Secretary Legislative and Proceeding Section House of Representatives in the Parliament of Malaysia), Mr. Mengtyth Ly (Head of the ASEAN and AIPA Office, International Relations Department of the Secretariat General of the National Assembly of Cambodia) and Ms Milena Rangel (Director for ASEAN Affairs, Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Timor-Leste).
The main topics covered in the discussion were the relations between the EU and ASEAN, inter-parliamentary cooperation, capacity building and on how to engage civil society and young people in political processes. Special emphasis was placed on the need to strengthen EU-ASEAN collaboration, to increase the knowledge on ASEAN both in the EU and among the people of ASEAN and its Member States, mainly among the youth. Likewise, how to achieve a greater inclusion of civil society and the business sector in ASEAN, in order to make it more people-centered as an organization and for consensus to be achieved more easily and effectively through newly adapted techniques. The other major topic discussed was of course the future entry of Timor-Leste into ASEAN, the opportunities this can offer to all parties, including enhanced cooperation with the EU.