APAY Executive Committee Meeting 19–21 April 2024 Communiqué

The Asia and Pacific Alliance of YMCAs (APAY) held its annual Executive Committee Meeting from 19th – 21st April 2024 Jeju, South Korea. Eighty two (82) registered delegates and representatives from 14 national movements in the Asia-Pacific region attended the meeting in person and 5 delegates from 3 countries participated online. It was also a historic occasion to mark the official inauguration of the APAY Jeju headquarters with a Thanksgiving Service following the decision of the Extra Ordinary ECM in 2021 to restructure the APAY headquarters into ‘multiple-office function”. Amongst a few offers received to host the new APAY office was the NCY-Korea’s offer to construct a new headquarters for the APAY at the YMCA Campsite in Jeju, Korea.  About 210 donors and supporters attended the inauguration of the new office and witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between APAY and the NCY-Korea to facilitate a cooperative arrangement between APAY and Korea YMCA for the utilization of the APAY Jeju Headquarters building to further mutual collaboration and activities beneficial not only to both parties but more for the entire APAY constituencies based on the common Mission stipulated in Paris Basis, Kampala Principle and Challenge 21. The MoU grants APAY rent free use of the buildings as office space and will remain valid as long as the APAY office resides in Jeju Island.  Also, in attendance and bringing congratulatory greetings to the event were OH Young Hun, Governor of the Jeju Special Self-governing Province, Soheila Hayek, President of the World Alliance of YMCAs, Ms. Keiko Tonegawa, President of the Asia Pacific Area of the Y’s Men International.

Participants of the ECM were invited to participate in an international symposium on “International Civil Action for Peace and Climate Justice”, a 110th anniversary event of the NCY-Korea organized in conjunction with the ECM.

The ECM began with worship on the theme building from the 21st GA: “Engaging YMCAs in building resilient and transformative communities”. In his keynote address, Dr, Ahn Jae-Woong, chairperson of the board of trustees of NCY Korea, traced the historical roots of the YMCA movement in Asia Pacific and it contributions in producing countless leaders for the ecumenical movement. The new APAY headquarters in Jeju will be like a house built on a rock serving as a hub to interpret and implement Jesus’ prayer “that they may all be one”, creating a fair world filled with justice, peace, life, and love on this earth.

The meeting was called to order and was presided by Very Rev. Philip Thomas, President of APAY, and assisted by Nam Boo Won, General Secretary of APAY. Mr. Rovin Cincollagas, Chair of the YPLD was appointed as the recording secretary.

In his opening address, Fr. Philip emphasized the relevance of the 2023 General Assembly theme, "Journeying Together as a Resilient Community: Transforming Lives through Vision 2030," which has remained relevant in strengthening our movement. He also recognized the various struggles of each National Movement, both inside and outside the YMCA movement, and how the Christian ideals created a resilient culture amongst us despite these challenges. He also affirmed if we are centered on Christ, then we will be transformative. Let Christ be a center in our lives because we offered ourselves for this purpose.


Ms. Soheila Hayek, President of the World Alliance of YMCAs, in her greetings and inauguration speech praised the APAY and the national movements for their programs and leadership, especially in strategic implementation of the 4 pillars of Vision 2030. She expressed hope that the new headquarters of APAY and the proposed YMCA Global Peace and Ecology Center will play an important role and serve as a hub for training young people as both "peacebuilders" and "climate defenders," embodying our shared commitment to fostering peace and protecting our planet. Other ecumenical partners who sent greetings online include Dr. Bartholomew Shaha, former Secretary General of the WAY and former General Secretary of APAY.  Mr. Thomas Valentine, Vice President of the YMCA of USA; and Ms. Yowanda Yonggara, Regional Secretary of the WSCF-AP.

General Secretary and Committee Reports:

The General Secretary presented the Quadrennial Program Plan (2024-2027) with 5 major program areas that were formulated at the Leaders Quadrennial Roundtable 2024 in Kuala Lumpur in December. The program areas (Movement Strengthening; Meaningful Work; Sustainable Planet; Community Wellbeing; Just World) underpinned by Christian Foundation, reflect the mandate from the 21st General Assembly and the YMCAs are asked to constantly re-interpret them in view of changing realities and contexts.  Christian Foundation remains the bedrock and cross-cutting focus that undergirds each of the 5 program areas. The ECM endorsed the creation of a new Standing Committee on Movement Strengthening and appointment of chairpersons to the various committees and task forces. The QPP together with reports from all the committees and task forces were then presented, discussed and received with positive comments from the floor.

To meet the financial challenges related the new office in Jeju, the ECM approved the Finance Committee’s recommendation to increase the fair share contributions by 5%. Some larger movements eg. Korea, Japan, Taiwan, India, Singapore and Australia agreed to contribute a higher amount.

APAY HK Office:

The 2021 Extraordinary ECM made a historic decision “To restructure the APAY headquarters into “multiple-office function” as recommended by the APAY Board, following the precedents set by other Area Alliances of YMCAs, given the needed adjustment to a new normal reality, as well as increasing the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the operations aligned with the objectives of APAY”. Having considered 8 important criteria and factors, the ECM decided for the new APAY Headquarters to be located in Jeju, Korea, while Hong Kong will remain as the second office of APAY.

Sadly, this decision to restructure and partially move the APAY headquarters to Jeju, Korea, led to misunderstanding and dispute between the Chinese YMCA of HK and APAY. Reaffirming the original intent and the history the YMCA Institute in Hong Kong in relation to APAY, the ECM resolved to request through President Soheila Hayek, to officially form a mediation team of the World Alliance towards an amicable settlement of the current dispute between APAY and the Chinese YMCA of Hong Kong.


The APAY inaugurated its new headquarters in Jeju, Korea, with strong support and solidarity from national movements. Set in serene environment of the YMCA Campsite and decorated with meaningful souvenirs from member movements, the APAY Jeju headquarters provided a conducive space for the 2024 Executive Committee Meeting. The Jeju office is a place for the diverse family of the APAY to come together to worship and work. APAY President, Fr. Philip, in his closing remarks expressed hopes that APAY, at its new headquarters in Jeju, reaffirms its commitment to continue its mission and vision promoting social justice, transforming and building stronger resilient communities across the Asia-Pacific region.