ALSA Conference is an annual event that is participated by all international chapters of Asian Law Students’ Association. This year, ALSA Conference was held in Laos from 28th January to 2nd February 2018 and hosted by ALSA LAOS. This event is intended for all ALSA members across Asia to gather and interact with each other. It is also purposefully for increasing legal knowledge and learning about each other’s culture. In this event, the main topic in this event was about drugs and there are also seminars about measures on how to tackle drugs in Asia. There are others activities as well, such as MUN (Model United Nations and Mock GCM (Governing Council Meeting).
The first day of the conference is reserved for the arrival of participants and welcoming dinner. Beforehand, we also shot a delegation video for ALSA NC Indonesia in the tourist attraction in Vientiane called Phat That Luang. In Vientiane, there is no taxi available so our only choice of transportation to get there was Tuktuk where it looked like Becak in Indonesia. We chose earth, wind & fire’s song, “September”. After we shot the video we immediately went to the hotel where the ALSA Conference is going to be held called the “Landmark Mekong Riverside Hotel”. After checking in, we got prepared to attend the welcoming dinner with a theme called “eighteen shades of grey” where everyone is ordered to wear a formal grey outfit.
On the second day, we attended a various formal events that define the purpose and theme of ALSA Conference Laos 2018. Firstly, we attended an opening ceremony in the Faculty of Law and Political Science of National University of Laos. The opening ceremony invited a lot of speakers such as Phoutsavath Sounthala (Deputy Permanent Secretary, Lao National Commission for Drug Control and Supervision), Souphaphone Chansy (Alumni of ALSA NC LAOS) and China Andarika Prawitasari (Former Director of STEP of ALSA International Board 2015/2016). There was also Alumni Sharing where we share experiences and knowledge about what makes ALSA as a respected organization among youth and what have the alumni gotten when they work for ALSA. Secondly, we attended mock trial GCM where all ALSA members got to learn about how to conduct or discuss in a forum. After mock trial Governing Council Meeting (GCM), we moved on to Model United Nation (MUN) where we gather to talk about, Transnational Drug Trafficking, Pharmaceutical Use of Drug, and Drug Abuse Among Youths. Whereas, the national boards attended GCM to discuss further about ALSA international issues. The MUN and GCM ended quite early so we use the spare time to practice for Cultural Night. In cultural night, we show our own traits as a national chapter from Indonesia and perform to entertain other national chapters.
On the third day, we continued MUN as well as GCM to consider the pros and cons regarding the issues that were being brought up. On this day, it is also the last day for MUN and GCM and where they will announce the winners of the best members of MUN. Amazingly, members of ALSA NC Indonesia won 5 awards including Best Position Paper for the WHO Committee, Best Position Paper for the UNODC Committee, Best Delegate for the UNODC Committee, 2 Best delegates for the WHO Committee, and Best Delegate for the UNICEF Committee. After MUN and GCM have finished, cultural night began. Cultural Night started out by dinner between delegates and then performance by each national chapter.
This activity closed by singing ALSA anthem together then and also continued with free dance with the song that was installed.
The next day, we started out by visiting the Supreme People’s Prosecutor Organization. Here, delegations were being given informations regarding the history and system of legal institutions and how do they run. After the legal visitation was held, the delegates went to Phat That Luang for the implementation of the Charity Event. After the implementation of this charity, the delegates ate lunch and went straight to Vang Vieng. The journey took approximately 3 hours. Upon arrival at Vang Vieng, the delegates checked in and were given free reinforcements for the evening's activities.
On the fifth day, there is no formal events that we were going to follow, so what we did was we went on a tour that we have particularly chosen such as trekking, kaya king, and visiting blue lagoon in Vang Vieng. After we went on the tour, we had to check out from the hotel to attend farewell dinner back in Vientiane.
The farewell dinner was joyful and sad at the same time. Everyone parted ways and give each other a present to remember by. Everyone also dressed formally and looked the best version of themselves.
The sixth day was our last day where what we did was only to check out of the hotel and said goodbye to each other. However, some of the Indonesian delegates had to stay in Vientiane for one more night because of our flights. However, we went to the night market in Mekong River to buy souvenirs for our family and friends and tasted Laos’ signature food and drinks one last time.
Personally, I enjoyed ALSA Conference 2018 because it gives more knowledge about ALSA as a non-political organization. I was fortunate enough to witness ALSA as a whole and how cooperative and critical all members were toward issues at hand. It was also fun to be able to see Laos as a beautiful and interesting country to visit. However, what makes this conference the most memorable is that the Indonesian delegates that I was able to encounter, they were full of energy, spirit and fun. What I can say from ALSA Conference is that it is an experience that I will never forget.
ALSA, Always be One!