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APEC Voices of the Future 2021

The Asia-Pacific region has nearly one billion young people that stand in the face of an uncertain future. The effects of the pandemic have disproportionately impacted young people globally, including missed education, training and employment opportunities.

New Zealand’s hosting of APEC Voices of the Future 2021 presented young people the opportunity to hear and learn from experts and peers around the region, while also putting their unique perspective in front of APEC Leaders.

Watch day 1 of APEC Voices of the Future 2021

Watch day 2 of APEC Voices of the Future 2021


Young people deliver strong message to APEC leaders

A raft of practical ways to help solve global issues has been delivered to APEC leaders by youth delegates participating in APEC Voices of the Future 2021.

Delegates from 21 APEC economies have been meeting online this week to discuss four key issues - the impact of Covid-19, the digital future, climate change and sustainability, and socio-economic inclusion. This virtual event was hosted by APEC Voices New Zealand and AUT, and included four Kiwi delegates – Lit Wei Chin, Sophie Handford, Jess Jenkins and Shisla Macleod.

The APEC Youth Declaration 2021, which was presented to APEC Chair, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on 10 November, says to face the challenges ahead, leaders must:

  • Build resilience and ensure equal access to vital medical resources
  • Improve access to education via technology
  • Push ahead with sustainability and develop connectivity, and
  • Ensure the wellbeing of our environment, society, and future generations

 Specific ideas suggested by the Voices of the Future delegates, include:

Co-operation to combat Covid-19

  • APEC to create an emergency fund to provide financial support to members during future pandemics
  • Develop a common set of pandemic protocols

 Digital future

  • Overcome coverage and affordability issues to improve digital connectivity and literacy
  • Hold technology companies accountable, and establish independent fact-checkers to combat disinformation

Climate change

  • Invest far more in research and development to allow a shift away from unsustainable materials such as plastics and fossil fuels, and develop carbon capture technology
  • Create a circular economy and push the 3Rs of waste management – reduce, reuse, recycle

Inclusivity

  • Shift mindsets significantly to ensure inclusivity and opportunities for all
  • Set specific targets to ensure marginalised groups are prioritised with education, upskilling, and development -

The delegates made it clear that, with one billion young people making up one third of the APEC region’s population, their voices must be heard.

“Right now, we are at a crucial junction. We are in the midst of many challenges, also bringing a rising tide of opportunity to build resilience, to enhance equitable outcomes and access to education, to value and develop connectivity, to centre sustainability, and to cast a lens of collective wellbeing of our environment, society, and future generations. Here, in this Declaration, we have been bold. Now, we call upon our APEC Leaders to do the same.”
 

Voices News

Young people deliver strong message to APEC leaders

A raft of practical ways to help solve global issues has been delivered to APEC leaders by youth delegates participating in APEC Voices of the Future 2021.

10 November 2021

New Zealand Voices of the Future representative Jess Jenkins hands the Prime Minister the declartion, on behalf of the Asia-Pacific's 1 billion young people.

Prime Minister accepts APEC Youth Declaration

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today addressed the APEC Voices of the Future 2021 event and accepted the APEC youth declaration in her role as APEC 2021 Chair.

10 November 2021

The rangatahi sharing their voice with APEC leaders

New Zealand’s youth are helping shape a declaration to APEC leaders as the region sets a plan spanning the next 20 years. The Spinoff spoke to three delegates ahead of the APEC youth summit. 

8 November 2021

Rangatahi Māori identified as delegates for APEC Voices of the Future and CEO Summit 2021

Te Rangitūkupu, the APEC Māori Partnership Group, is pleased to announce the rangatahi Māori selected as delegates to attend APEC Voices of the Future and CEO Summit 2021 during APEC Leaders Week. 

5 November 2021

Heavy-hitters line up at APEC Voices of the Future 2021

Among the speakers are the YouTube CEO, UN Secretary-General’s Envoy for Youth, APEC Executive Director and an Emmy-nominated journalist.

29 October 2021

Heavy-hitters line up at APEC Voices of the Future 2021

Among the speakers are the YouTube CEO, UN Secretary-General’s Envoy for Youth, APEC Executive Director and an Emmy-nominated journalist.

29 October 2021

AUT students go global with their logo design

A group of AUT design students are thrilled their work has gone global, after they created the APEC Voices of the Future 2021 logo.

26 October 2021

AUT students go global with their logo design

A group of AUT design students are thrilled their work has gone global, after they created the APEC Voices of the Future 2021 logo.

26 October 2021

Voices of the Future 'an incredible experience'

With a record number of economies attending APEC Voices of the Future 2021, five New Zealand alumni of the event are helping to organise the unique summit.

21 October 2021

From left: Jess Jenkins, Lit Wei Chin, Shisla Macleod and Sophie Handford.

Four young Kiwis to represent NZ on world stage

Four influential young Kiwis have been chosen to represent New Zealand at APEC Voices of the Future in November.

6 October 2021

Our partners

Delivering APEC Voices of the Future 2021 is no solo effort, instead we have three partners helping to bring this programme to life. In June 2021 the three partners signed an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). 

New Zealand is the host of APEC in 2021, and is partnering with AUT and the Voices NZ Trust to deliver the APEC Voices of the Future 2021 programme. It is clear that New Zealand’s hosting of APEC this year comes at a time when it is important for the region to join together. As the most dynamic region in the world’s economy, APEC is well placed to confront the biggest challenges the world faces and make a meaningful difference to our region of three billion. Already this year, APEC has joined together to reject vaccine nationalism and speed-up the movement of vaccines, because no-one is safe until everyone is safe. There is still a lot of work to do.
Auckland University of Technology (AUT) is New Zealand’s second largest university and one of the best modern universities in the world. Located in beautiful, multicultural Auckland, AUT is ranked first in New Zealand for its international outlook and global research impact.  With access to excellent teaching, first-class facilities, the latest technologies and global research connections, AUT graduates are ready for an ever-changing tomorrow and to contribute to important issues facing communities at home and around the world. Learn more about AUT.
The APEC Voices New Zealand programme was launched in 2004 with funding from the Fletcher Foundation. This enabled their first delegation to travel to Chile. For five years the Voices Trust held national events to select four students to represent New Zealand. Throughout, a number of New Zealand universities and Te Puni Kokiri (TPK) have been strong supporters of the programme by selecting and funding students to represent New Zealand at the international events now organised by the APEC Voice Secretariat, Singapore. New Zealand has had a presence at every APEC Voices event since 2004 represented by 60 student participants and supporting educators.

Join, Work, Grow. Together.
Haumi ē, Hui ē, Tāiki ē.

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