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Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 25, No. 3. 1962.

The Second Asian Regional Co-operation Seminar

page 12

The Second Asian Regional Co-operation Seminar

The official opening of the Second Asian Regional Cooperation Seminar took place on Tuesday, October 17, 1961, at the World Health Organisation conference hall in Manilla, Philippines. Planned for October 17 to November 12, the four-week long Seminar was under the joint sponsorship of the Co-ordinating Secretariat, the Student Councils Association of the Philippines (Scap) and the National Union of Students of the Philippines (Nusp).

Three weeks of the Seminar were devoted to discussions on student Press, student travel, student welfare, the functions and activities of the National Union in Asia, regional cooperation in Asia and contemporary Asian questions, such as neutralism, the language problem and the changing pattern of education in Asia. The Seminar also examined the contribution which Asian students can make to the cause of abiding world peace. During the last week of the Seminar, the participants were taken around the Philippines in order to enable them to gain a better insight into life in the Philippines as well as to give them an opportunity to learn about the practical aspects of organising a country-wide tour.

Student Press

In the field of student press, the participants evaluated the work and future operation of the Asian News Distribution Scheme under the responsibility of Ppmi Indonesia. According to information received from Ppmi, full-scale implementation of this scheme would commence in December 1961. After considering the report of Ppmi, the participants requested Cosec to give all possible technical assistance to the Ppmi for the full-scale implementation of the project. The scheme will serve as a focal point for the receipt and distribution of news items about the activities of National Unions of Students in the Asian region. A monthly newsletter, to be called the Asian Student News, will be produced for the purpose of disseminating such news items. The Asian News Distribution Scheme will serve as an experimental framework of Asian student press co-operation, to be followed by a full-scale press bureau should the present scheme prove successful. The work of the Asian News Distribution Scheme will again be examined at the 10th Isc. The Seminar participants also recommended that National Unions of Students participating in the scheme should undertake the publication of news bulletins at regular intervals for distribution within their own countries.

The participants also considered the student press situation in their respective countries and made general recommendations for its improvement. The Seminar further recommended to the 10th Isc that Cosec be mandated to give technical and all other forms of assistance to the needy National Unions and urged all National Unions to strive for the recognition within their countries of the Code of Ethics and Charter of Student Press Rights.

The Seminar, after hearing a report from the Korean delegation about the student press situation in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in the Seoul National University, expressed its deep concern over the censorship imposed by the College authorities and recommended to the authorities that they immediately cease interference with free and autonomous student press activities on the campus.

Cosec was asked to make an immediate study in conjunction with the Ncusi of India the possibility of inaugurating an Indian student press bureau.

The press working class of the Seminar published two newsletters and an eight-page newspaper called "Mabuhay", which reported on the activities of the Seminar.

Student Travel

The Second Asian Regional Co-operation Seminar examined the progress in the implementation of such recommendations of the First Asian Regional Co-operation Seminar as the publication of an Asian Travel Handbook and National Travel Handbooks for various countries in Asia. The Seminar examined the results of an investigation carried out by Nuaus Australia of travel, hotel and insurance facilities in the area.

The Seminar was pleased to note that Ncusi India has produced its first regular Student Guide to Delhi. Information compiled in the Guide followed the questionnaire drawn up at the First Asian Regional Co-operation Seminar and was in accordance with resolution 103 of the 9th Isc. The Seminar was also pleased to note a statement from Nuaus Australia that compilation of the information for the Asian Travel Handbook will be completed by the beginning of January 1962. The Handbook will provide information on facilities and concessions available to students wishing to travel to various countries of Asia. The following countries are to be included in the Handbook: Philippines, Indonesia, Malaya, Singapore, India, Pakis tan, Ceylon, Korea, Israel, Australia and New Zealand.

The Nuaus delegation reported that as soon as all the data for the Handbook has been compiled the material for the Handbook will be sent to Cosec for printing.

Ncusi gave a progress report on the work done to produce national travel handbooks for various countries in Asia. The Seminar re commended that these travel hand books should be prepared in accordance with resolution 103 of the 9th Isc and urged those National Unions which are compiling information for their travel handbooks to complete the compilation as soon as possible and to send the completed material to Ncusi India for publication.

In order to provide a basis for the increase and improvement of student travel activities in Asia, the Seminar recommended to National Unions that they undertake such schemes as regional and national work camps, regional study tours, cultural events and bilateral exchanges of students. The Seminar also recommended that existing National Unions and National Study Travel Bureaux establish and improve on facilities for rendering services to students coming from abroad. Such facilities may include information about cheap hotels and student hostels, recommendations for restaurants and places of entertainment, typical itineraries, experiences, student guides, hospitality committees, etc. The Seminar recommended that the International Student Identity Card be used as a means of identification for foreign students to obtain concessions available to local students.

Student Welfare

In the discussion on Student Welfare the participants devoted attention to such problems as financing of studies, student employment, student co-operatives, board, lodging and health facilities. The participants discussed the student welfare situation in their respective countries and examined the ways by which it may be improved, giving great emphasis to cooperative and self-help techniques in the university community as a means of solving welfare problems.

Community development programmes were given great importance in the discussions on student welfare. The Seminar examined the role which students can play in programmes of community and rural development in Asia and recommended that all national and local unions in Asia, explore opportunities for utilising student resources for work camps, illiteracy campaigns and other social projects within their countries.

The Seminar called upon the 10th Isc to make provision for a welfare conference of National Unions of Students in Asia, Australia and New Zealand to be convened during the period between the 10th and 11th Isc. At this specialist Seminar great emphasis would be placed on detailed study of problems relating to student health schemes, student concessions and student co-operatives.

All National Unions of Students in Asia were asked to coordinate. their welfare activities with the national World University Service committees where these exist in order to reduce the possibilities of duplication. It was recognised that both the World University Service and National Unions shared mutual responsibility in co-ordinating projects and in channelling financial assistance from university sources. The Seminar also took note of the valuable and extensive role which the World University Service has played in promoting the general well-being of the Asian student community.

In the field of student accommodation the Seminar noted the rapid increase in the student rolls in the Asian countries and that a large number of students are required, due to lack of hostel accommodations, to live in private lodging houses with inadequate living and study facilities. The Seminar recommended that National Unions of Students seek to interest university and government authorities in undertaking a joint survey of student accommodation conditions with the purpose of instituting more extensive programmes for the provision of hostel facilities. The Seminar also recommended to National Unions of Students that they explore avenues of assistance from the Wus and international welfare agencies for the provision of student accommodations.

The Seminar, considering the need for less expensive services for student communities through cooperative enterprises, recommended that all National Unions consider the establishment of co-operative shops, canteens and book stores for the benefit of students.

Contribution to World Peace

The Seminar participants unanimously decided to send cables to the United Nations Political Committee and the governments of the United States and the U.S.S.R. urging immediate cessation of testing for military purposes and the signing of a treaty banning such tests, as well as the resumption of negotiations on general and complete disarmament with effective controls.

Solidarity with Ugema

The Seminar took time off on November 1 to celebrate the International Day of Solidarity with the Algerian students. As a mark of their solidarity the participants addressed a cable to Ugema saluting their heroic struggle against French imperialism and for the liberation of Algeria. They also addressed a cable to the President of the Republic of France condemning the brutalities and atrocities perpetrated against the people of Algeria by the French government.


The participants at the Seminar came from the following countries: Australia, Ceylon, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Israel, Korea, Malaya, New Zealand, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Assisting the Seminar director Kenny Khaw (Malaya) were Venant Ngoie (Congo), Clovis C. Aleman (Panama), Mailand Christensen (Denmark), Lutz Erbring (Germany), John Osmena (Philippines) and Raul Rocco (Philippines). Several eminent personalities from the Philippines introduced a number of the Seminar topics for discussion with very enlightening lectures.