The U.S. Embassy in Hanoi hosted the first-ever Model East Asia Summit (Model EAS) for 33 high school and university students at the Embassy’s American Center on August 16, 2013.  Based on the popular American extracurricular activity Model United Nations, the Model EAS program allows students to exchange ideas on policy issues that are relevant to and have a direct impact on Vietnamese youth.  Acting as the head-of-state for one of the eighteen EAS countries, students research the policies and interests of his or her assigned country on the management of the Mekong River and then debate, negotiate, and draft a resolution with other delegates during the one-day event.

“The Model East Asia Summit allows students to showcase their public speaking ability, utilize their critical thinking skills to debate policy with their peers, and provides an opportunity to discuss the management of the Mekong River,” said U.S. Embassy Hanoi Spokesman Spencer Cryder.  “The Vietnamese youth in attendance understand and are clearly up to the challenge of solving these complex regional issues.”

The delegates were divided into two simultaneously-running, separate committees, one for younger students and one for older students.  The delegates discussed the limits of national sovereignty, the role of the Mekong River Commission, international accountability, climate change, clean energy, and the merits of dam construction along the Mekong mainstream.  The students conducted the entire six-hour event in English.

The overarching goals of the Model EAS program are to introduce students to the important role of regional institutions like ASEAN, EAS, and the Lower Mekong Initiative play in solving complex regional and international issues; increase student interest in policy-making; and provide students a forum to practice their high-level English skills.

Source:  U.S. Embassy Hanoi, Vietnam

Source URL: