On 26th March, in conjunction with 17th International Convention on Melaka Twin Cities, the Asia Urban Youth Assembly (AUYA) was held for the first time at Hatten Hotel, Melaka. Chaired by Melaka’s own Chief Minister, YAB Datuk Seri Utama Ir Hj Idris bin Hj Haron, the event was attended the Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia; Datuk Seri Utama Dr. Ahmad Zahid bin Hamidi and many representatives of UN-Habitat and participants from 34 countries involved with AUYA.
The event was officiated by Malaysia’s Deputy Prime Minister after his speech on how AUYA not only will be able to help mentor the youths but also to improve the leaders of today in being more innovative and develop better infrastructure for the country and the world.
AUYA was hosted by Melaka State Government, in collaboration with Ministry of Youth and Sports, UN-Habitat, Melaka Historic City Council, UN-Youth and World Assembly of Youth (WAY) whose chairman is also Melaka’s Chief Minister.
What is Asia Urban Youth Assembly (AUYA)?
Asia Urban Youth Assembly (AUYA) is an international conference. It works as a platform to assist Asia’s youth and giving opportunity for them to deliberate and discuss significant issues of state, country and even the world. The voice of today’s youths is what will shape a better tomorrow and so, their voices and participation are relevant contributions to the new urban agenda of United Nation (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
AUYA brings the heads and minds of urban youths from all over the world to contribute and partner across generations, along with AUYA’s theme of: “Youth Roles Towards New Urban Agenda – Taking Action For Innovative, Socially Minded, Green Cities.”
The delegations and participants who were involved with AUYA are from Bangladesh, Belize, Canada, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, Ethiopia, Ghana, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Korea, Macedonia, Maldives, Morocco, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Rwanda, Somalia, Tanzania, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, UAE, Uganda, United States, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malaysia.
Turning Melaka Into A Green City
Melaka is one of UNESCO World Heritage Site, receiving the acknowledgement on 7th July 2008. Once in the 13th Century, Melaka was also dubbed “Venice Of The East”. Just as it was many hundred years ago, Melaka is still one of the best picked tourism destination in the world, being placed 28th last year.
Besides tourism, she also posses lucrative investment opportunities on eight key sectors such as Automotive, Electrical and Electronics, Green Technology, HALAL Products, Biotechnology, Pharmaceuticals, Oil and Gas and Aerospace.
Business-wise, this would bring many returns to the state but can also be detrimental to the state. According to YAB Datuk Seri Utama Ir Hj Idris bin Hj Haron, Chief Minister of Melaka; Melaka has come up with initiatives to turn her into a Green City in line with one of AUYA’s theme.
- Rehabilitation Of Melaka River – Beautifying the Melaka River to make it more attractive to tourist and keeping the river clean.
- Green City Action Plan – Involving sectors are Water Management, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Green Transportation, Zero Waste, Tourism and Cultural Heritage and Urban Forestry and Agriculture.
- Green House Gas Inventory – Streamlining and ensuring reduction of emission, while maintaining growth.
- Hang Tuah Jaya Green City – A Green Urban Planning City, especially as being the new hub for high speed rail station for Kuala Lumpur-Singapore link.
- Melaka World Solar Valley – A new township that focuses on Solar Technology Development. Currently, it has one solar manufacturing facility.
- Energy Efficiency Project – An initiative to transform nine (9) State Government Buildings into energy efficient buildings through Energy Performance Contracts (EPC).
- Smart Grid Pilot Project – Installing smart meters to control daily maximum demand, optimize peak period electricity generation and smarter load management.
- Electric Vehicles (EV) – Currently has two (2) deployed electric buses and Melaka is requesting to deploy another forty (40) soon.
- Transform Street Lights – Transforming 120,000 units of street lights to Smart LED street lights.
- Solid Waste Recycling – Practicing waste separation since 1st September 2015, banning the usage of polystyrene from 1st September 2015 and no plastic bag since 1st January 2016.
In addition, Melaka’s “Don’t Mess With Melaka” campaign was launched in 2014 to make Melaka a cleaner state. The motto can also warn against crime and malice against the people of Melaka. So far, this campaign seemed to work and hopefully other states will use this as an example to implement in their states.
What AUYA Can Do For Us?
Youths are the agents of change. Appointing youths as representatives and councillors at local authorities can allow them to learn more on governing, on sharing their ideas and views in improving the state and making a better tomorrow.
By connecting youths from every corner of the world through AUYA and World Assembly of Youth (WAY), these organizations can give support to youths, contribute in resolving youth-related matters and mentoring and guiding youths to be innovative.