APEC Voices of the Future is a unique opportunity for young people aged 18-24 to interact with high-profile leaders and experts on the big issues facing the Asia-Pacific region.
Each year, youth delegates are selected to take part in APEC Voices of the Future - a youth leadership and educational diplomacy programme that occurs in parallel with the APEC CEO Summit. The APEC Voices of the Future programme brings together young leaders from around the Asia-Pacific region to experience the APEC CEO Summit, to meet international leaders and to better understand their peers.
The programme was launched in Kuala Lumpur in 1998 at the APEC Malaysia Summit, developed and directed by the VTM Foundation International in cooperation with Malaysia ABAC. The VTM Foundation International, Washington, leads the Voices of the Future initiative and has encouraged other APEC economies to continue to involve young people in their work. New Zealand became involved when the US VTM attended the APEC Leaders’ and CEO Summit in Auckland in 1999. Students from a number of APEC economies attended. The programme has developed since the first event in Malaysia, and now enjoys support from many APEC economies and business leaders.
Since then, New Zealand youth delegates have attended APEC Voices of the Future summits held in Brunei (2000), Mexico (2002), Chile (2004), Korea (2005), Vietnam (2006), Australia (2007), Peru (2008), Singapore (2009), Japan (2010), USA (2011), Russia (2012), Indonesia (2013), China (2014), the Philippines (2015), Peru (2016), Vietnam (2017), Papua New Guinea (2018), Malaysia (virtually in 2020), New Zealand (2021) and Thailand (2022).
The 2023 delegation will represent Aotearoa New Zealand at the APEC Summit in the USA in November.
The APEC Voices of the Future programme in Aotearoa New Zealand is run by the APEC Voices Trust in partnership with the Centres of Asia-Pacific Excellence and Te Puni Kōkiri.