PHNOM PENH: The U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Embassy in Phnom Penh hosted the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) Summit in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, December 6-8, 2022.
One hundred fifty emerging leaders from all ten Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states and Timor-Leste participated in skill-building workshops, networking, and activities focused on economic empowerment. YSEALI seeks to strengthen the partnership between the United States and ASEAN and supports emerging young leaders across Southeast Asia.
The Summit, implemented by The Asia Foundation, was the first in-person YSEALI Summit since 2019. Participants explored ways to expand regional collaboration, advanced their leadership and business development skills, and learned from successful Southeast Asian entrepreneurs and experts.
“Together, you are supporting inclusive economic opportunities. Helping end this pandemic and prevent, detect, and respond to future health emergencies–giving communities tools to adapt to a changing climate, like more frequent droughts and more intense hurricanes. The YSEALI program is a powerful way to bring together our people, particularly our young people, so that they can share information, ideas, and solutions with one another,” said U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in pre-recorded opening remarks.
During the U.S.-ASEAN Special Summit in May 2022, President Biden announced YSEALI will double in size in the next three years. The YSEALI Summit highlights the strength of our people-to-people ties and our commitment to the socio-cultural pillar under the U.S.-ASEAN Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. Since its inception in 2013, the YSEALI network has grown to more than 155,000 members.
During the Summit, U.S. Embassy Phnom Penh launched “Community Catalysts” a small grants program for participants, which will fund the young leaders’ most compelling project proposals for implementation across ASEAN in the coming year.
Photo by: U.S. Embassy Phnom Penh, Cambodia