Event Reports

KAS Young Political Leaders Caucus 2018

KAS Young Political Leaders Caucus (KASYP-LC) is an annual platform for the alumni of the KASYP programme that aims to nurture and sustain the dialogue, exchange, and sharing of expertise and experience in political party building, policymaking, constituency work, sustainable development, and democracy building.

The objectives of this caucus are two-fold:

  1. Further hone the alumni political and governance skills and expertise, through thematic discussions with fellow Asian peers, in crafting domestic and regional policies affecting the youth, political parties, and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

  2. Develop a network of like-minded young political actors who are committed to strengthening political parties and youth participation in policy making and advocacy, governance, and sustainable development.

The event began on 3rd December with an informal Welcome Dinner in a restaurant outside the conference venue, which could only be reached by motorbike taxi and ferry, offering a little adventure in the chaotic traffic of Thailand. In the course of the evening the participants could get to know each other better and already exchange their ideas on various topics.

The aim of the conference on 4th December was to discuss ways of bringing the sustainable development goals of the individual Asian countries up to the level set by the United Nations. Dr. Katinka Weinberger, Head of the Section for Environment and Development Policy of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, was invited as speaker. She presented the UN's approach to achieving its goals through cooperation with individual member states. A central role is played by the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), an annual conference in New York where all member states have the opportunity to report on the status of sustainable development in their country on a voluntary basis. Problems and challenges of the work were also highlighted, as well as issues when it comes to the implementation of the goals. Following the presentation, the participants had the opportunity to address their questions directly to Dr. Weinberger, which encouraged an interesting exchange.

In the spirit of the HLPF, a Country Briefing was held, during which each participant gave a short presentation on the political situation and the status of the SDGs in their respective country. The main challenge was the time management, as the speakers only had about five minutes for this very broad topic. Nevertheless, everyone gained a good overview of previous successes and challenges as well as possible future projects suggested by the speakers.

In the afternoon, the young politicians were able to participate in a very interesting workshop by Cheryl Chung, Co-Director for Executive Education at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy in Singapore. Again, the focus was on sustainable development, for example the future development of SDGs, but also the key trends in global development, such as Artificial Intelligence or Human Augmentation, and their impact on the future of work, economy, education and sustainability. As a highlight of the event, the participants were asked to build their vision for the future from Lego bricks, which generated very creative ideas.

Finally, ideas for future KASYP-LC events, their content and financing were collected. It was agreed to continue the meetings on a regular basis. The KASPDA team is already looking forward to further events with the alumni in the coming year, where even more former KASYP participants will be brought together!

The event was concluded with a dinner together with the speakers of the parallel event on Thailand's ASEAN chairmanship in the coming year 2019. The two groups were able to mix with each other, which resulted in an interesting and lively exchange.