After a series of pre-engagement virtual activities focused on climate issues in Southeast Asia, the
2022 Young Southeast Asian Leadership Initiative (YSEALI) Summit Brunei kicked off today for
over 100 participants from all 10 ASEAN countries and Timor-Leste. The Embassy of the United
States of America in Brunei Darussalam partnered with Big BWN Project and Malaysia-based
Biji-biji Initiative in creating a summit aimed to provide experiential and immersive learning
experiences for participants around the theme “Empowering Technology for a Greener Future.”
The month-long Summit, which will be held in a hybrid in-person and virtual format throughout June, started with a June 2 virtual opening ceremony kicked off by remarks from U.S. Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam Caryn McClelland and U.S. State Department Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Oceans and International Environment and Scientific Affairs Jennifer J.R. Littlejohn.
The President of the United Nations General Assembly Abdulla Shahid also delivered pre-recorded remarks during the virtual session, followed by live remarks from the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) Ambassador to Asia-Pacific and South Asia Ken O’Flaherty.
With a special focus on technological solutions and 21st century methods of climate mitigation and adaptation, the Summit activities in June include a series of online panel discussions with climate experts, a leadership development series, a tech showcase featuring organizations that are actively mitigating climate change through technological solutions, and in-person eco-challenges and carbon-neutral volunteer activities.
“Climate change is the greatest long-term threat we face,” said Ambassador McClelland in her welcoming remarks. “The race to find solutions to that threat will demand innovation, collaboration and the energy of youth. At the same time, this effort to save our planet will also create new technologies and new careers. Those opportunities are precisely what this YSEALI Summit is all about.”
“We hope that all YSEALI members take advantage of the network they’ve fostered through this program, especially the ones in this region. YSEALI is about harnessing the power and talent of the region to foster change, and those relationships are what make the difference. Hence we are also very excited to continue on this journey of green recovery in the region,” said Rashvin Pal Singh, Group CEO of Biji-biji Initiative.