ASEAN Day Reception, 20 Aug
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, engaging in conversation with CJCians at the ASEAN Day Reception on 20 August.
Nine students from CJC attended the 2019 ASEAN Day reception held on 20 August at the Marina Mandarin Ballroom, Singapore. The reception recognised ASEAN’s achievements over the last 52 years and celebrates its continuing role towards building lasting peace and stability in the region. Our students were privileged to meet and interact with distinguished guests such as Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan and CJC alumnus, Deputy Secretary Peter Tan (Class of 1984). One of our students, Chomel Chan, 1T08, shared her experience:
"Being given the opportunity to attend the ASEAN Day Dinner was a mind blowing and enriching experience that helped me deepen my understanding of foreign affairs, as well as having a better appreciation of the efforts put into helping our country maintain good diplomatic relations. It allowed me to recognise the growth ASEAN has achieved over the years as we celebrated the 52nd anniversary of ASEAN’s founding.
The theme for this year’s event was “Advancing Partnership for Sustainability”, which underscores ASEAN’s aim of progressing as equal partners to accomplish a “Digital ASEAN”. Through this, it strives to meet the needs and wants of citizens living in today’s digital society through interconnectivity. In all honesty, before this event, my knowledge on ASEAN and their efforts were extremely limited and it was only through this that I learnt about the initiatives and work gone into developing the organisation and building interconnected relations.
Though the event turned out to be nothing like how I imagined it to be, it was everything greater and more as we also got the opportunity to engage in conversations with inspiring leaders such as Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Mr Peter Tan, the Deputy Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Speaking to them gave me a first-hand understanding about the inner workings of foreign policy, how diplomatic relations are formed and what taking up a job in this sector entails. Through these meaningful and productive conversations, I obtained fresh insights and perspectives on issues such as terrorism and how challenges such as these actually provide a platform for diplomatic relations to take place as these complex issues take a collective effort to resolve. This event truly was an incredibly memorable and enlightening one and though it wasn’t long, it has taught me many valuable things that will stay with me."
Chomel Chan, 1T08, on Deputy Secretary Mr Peter Tan’s left. Teacher-in-charge, Mr Lucas D’Cruz, is on the extreme right of the photo.