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Empowering youths in an ageing society

Demographic Changes in Asia and Europe: Challenges for the Youth

To create better understanding of the challenges that the youth in Asia and Europe are facing in the light of a rapidly ageing society, the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF), the ASEF University Alumni Network (ASEFUAN) and Mykolas Romeris University organised a dialogue on "Demographic Changes in Asia and Europe: Challenges for the Youth”.

This dialogue was held on 11 May 2011 at the Mykolas Romeris University campus in Vilnius, in conjunction with the 26th ASEF Board of Governors Meeting held on 12-13 May 2011.

The dialogue panel comprised of representatives from the youth, education and policy-making sector. They included: Mr Jussi Lehmusvaara of the Ministry of Finance (Finland); Ms Krizna Gomez of the Ateneo Human Rights Center (The Philippines) and President of the ASEF University Alumni Network (ASEFUAN); Ms Guoda Lomanaite of the Lithuanian Youth Council; and Professor Leo Tan, Chairman of the Pacific Science Association Committee on Science Communication and Education (Singapore) and ASEF Governor for Singapore. The dialogue was moderated by Dr Giedrius Viliūnas, Vice-Rector for Education of the Mykolas Romeris University.

The panelists cited the main challenges of a rapidly ageing population, including the lack of opportunities and support mechanisms to enable youths to fulfill what is expected of them. They also discussed the common perceptions of the ageing crisis, including the rise in health and pension costs, the concept of intergenerational solidarity, and how partnerships with national and international agencies can empower youths to take action in addressing issues affecting their future.

This dialogue is the first of two ASEF events that Mykolas Romeris University is hosting. The ASEM Education Hub (AEH) Advisory Committee Meeting will also be held in the university in December 2011.

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