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Future leaders exchange opinions at Goa retreat [2008/04/09]

Members of the retreat

From February 17 to 24, young Asian leaders gathered in Goa, India to exchange opinions on a variety of issues, including environmental pollution in Asian countries. A total of 20 people participated from 12 countries, including India, Japan, China, and Bangladesh, engaging in lively discussions on how to build a better Asia. This is the third such retreat; the next will be held in Beijing after the Olympic Games.

The first retreat, held at Beijing University in September 2006, was hosted by the Sasakawa Peace Foundation. Eighteen young Asian leaders participated. Subsequent retreats have been held with the support of the Nippon Foundation and in cooperation with the Information and Resource Center in Singapore. Participants in this year’s retreat consisted of university professors, members of NGOs, researchers and artists, many of whom were involved in various projects of the Nippon Foundation and its affiliated organizations. The participants, primarily in their thirties and forties, are regarded as the future leaders of Asia. From Japan, four people attended the retreat, including an expert on satoyama-forest issues.(Photo: The Secretary-General of ASEAN appears as a guest speaker)

Under the theme “Let’s Talk about the Future of Asia,” there were lectures by guest speakers and group discussions in the morning, while participants went out on the streets of Goa and interviewed citizens in the afternoon. They visited various places such as hospitals, markets, and beaches to talk with citizens and to get a sense of the lives of residents. Among the lecturers was Surin Pitsuwan, former Thai Foreign Minister and the current Secretary-General of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), who emphasized Asia’s enormous potential and the importance of building networks in the region.(Photo: Members engaged in discussion)

At the end of the retreat, participants summed up their experience by affirming their commitment to building a better Asia. Now that Asia faces various trans-national problems, establishing networks of these future leaders today is expected to contribute to the resolution of problems tomorrow. A member of the Nippon Foundation who attended the retreat noted, “I think it is significant that the future leaders of Asian countries are gathering and meeting in China and India, which have achieved remarkable development.”(Photo: Members who ventured into the streets)
Posted by TNF at 15:18 | Human Resources Development | URL