The statement was made by Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam during his opening speech at the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Conference on Innovative Education and Human Resource Building for Sustainable Development, opened in Hue City in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue on March 30.
The conference, which will conclude on March 31, has drawn the participation of 180 local and foreign delegates from 53 ASEM members.
Addressing the conference, Deputy PM Dam stressed that education plays an important role in promoting innovation and creativity. He noted that many countries pay special attention to developing human resources for sustainable development, particularly in the context of the fourth industrial revolution and the strengthened trend of globalisation.
Therefore it is becoming more and more critical as the fourth Industrial Revolution is taking place at a much faster pace than seen in previous revolutions, leading to many manufacturing industries, production methods, and personnel that will have to change, be eliminated or replaced by new occupations, new ways and new human resources, the Vietnamese government official emphasised, adding that education and training reform is now more important, not only for developing countries, but also for the most developed economies.
Under the current conditions, Deputy PM Dam said that education and training, more than ever, needs to arouse enthusiasm among students, teachers and everyone to learn, explore and master knowledge, thus creating new technologies and setting up their own careers to make a contribution to society.
Along with that is the need to build a qualified global generation of citizens with a sense of responsibility to their communities, their countries, and even in regards to global issues and the future of human civilisation against challenges of terrorism, transnational crime, climate change and the emergence of new diseases, the deputy PM said.
Regarding ASEM development over the last two decades, Deputy PM Dam said that the intergovernmental process has played an important role in connecting nations, businesses and people in the two continents of Asia and Europe for peace, cooperation and sustainable development, including activities to promote education and human resource development.
Many initiatives and projects on education, training and human resource development have been initiated and promoted by ASEM member countries, such as ASEM lifelong learning centre, Asia-Europe projects on educational innovation in the digital age, creative capacity and start-ups, bringing about new dynamics in cooperation and in education and training.
Deputy PM Vu Duc Dam addresses the opening of the ASEM Conference on Innovative Education and Human Resource Building for Sustainable Development, which opened in Hue City in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue on March 30. (Credit: VGP)
In particular, at the 11th ASEM Summit in 2016, ASEM leaders pledged to increase cooperation to promote education and investment in human resource development and enhancing skills for the workforce, especially young people, to start a business and ensure stable employment.
This strategic commitment not only guarantees the future of ASEM cooperation in a more sustainable and effective way, but also acts as ASEM’s contribution to the international community in promoting achievement towards the objectives of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
These collaborative efforts and outcomes should be further promoted and replicated to meet the development requirements of the forthcoming Fourth Industrial Revolution, as the world has become flatter and smaller along with more opportunities and even more challenges.
For that reason, the deputy PM urged the conference to focus on discussions to develop a common understanding on interdisciplinary approach towards education and training reform to adapt and take advantage of the Fourth Industrial Revolution’s opportunities, while still ensuring consideration, fairness and equality for the disadvantaged.
* After the opening session, the conference will focus on four plenary sessions discussing the role of education and resources in the 21st century for sustainable development; opportunities, challenges and roles of stakeholders; practices and lessons learned in Asia and Europe; and strengthening Eurasian cooperation in the field of creative education and human resource building for sustainable development.
Innovation experiences will be exchanged, especially with regard to solutions to promote the linking of research and human resource development centres in ASEM and ASEM +, strengthening public-private partnerships, the transfer of technology, especially technology in education, training and forming a well-informed society, and proposing the “21st Century ASEM Skills Agenda”.
In the closing session, the conference will adopt a report and recommendations for submission to the 13th ASEM Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Myanmar this November, the 6th ASEM Education Ministers’ Meeting (the Republic of Korea, November 2017) and the 12th ASEM Summit (Belgium, 2018).
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