For the first time, Australia hosted an ASEAN Summit, with leaders from the Southeast Asian countries landing in Sydney over the weekend 17-18 March 2018 to strengthen economic and political ties in the region.

This intergovernmental organisation, ASEAN, offers significant economic and social benefits that will ensure prosperity in the long run.

In order to achieve this, social and cultural understanding is paramount, which is the reasoning behind the Multi-Faith youth meeting that took place in Sydney with 26 young Indonesian and Australian participants from diverse faiths.

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Australia’s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull along with Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo and the Foreign Ministers of both countries greeted the young participants and spoke of the importance of sharing mutual understanding and respect.

“The great success of Australia as a multicultural nation is because we are united by political values, freedom, equality of men and women and mutual respect,” said Malcolm Turnbull.

He expressed how President Widodo is one of the most important leaders in the world, as Indonesia proves, “that democracy, Islam, moderation and respect are compatible.”

Indonesia’s President had some remarks to say, calling upon the youth in attendance to embody this mutual respect as the future leaders of the country and the world.

The youth meeting encouraged deeper friendship and fraternity with our Indonesian counterparts who are our close and crucial neighbour.