APEC VOICES 2018
Papua New Guinea, 12-18 November 2018
Api Taiapa, Micah Thompson, Hannah Pattullo and Marcellla Maihi were the youth delegates representing New Zealand at Port Moresby in 2018. New Zealand made up one of the 15 APEC Member Economies being represented at the 20th Anniversary of the APEC Voices of the Future summit.
'Harnessing Inclusive Opportunities, Embracing the Digital Future" was the theme of APEC Voices of the Future 2018, and Papua New Guinea's 2018 APEC host year as a whole. Who better to support digital innovation and inclusivity for the future, than the youth of today?
H.E. The Honorable Justin W. Tkatchenko, PNG Minister for APEC 2018 opened proceedings at the Youth Summit, followed by Mr James Soh, Co-Chair of the APEC Voices Leadership Council.
Early in the Summit, one group of youth delegates identified education as an important opportunity that all APEC Member Economies do not have equal access to. The group proposed an APEC Youth Fund, which aimed to provide struggling economies with the means to support an improved education system for young people.
Throughout their time at the Summit, their agenda allowed time to visit local PNG hot spots. Among these were the ExxonMobil LNG Site, Port Moresby Nature Park, and the National Museum and Art Gallery. The delegates were enriched with information about PNG's history, wildlife, arts and culture.
The APEC Voices of the Future 2018 youth delegates were fortunate to indulge in dialogue with APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) members from their respective economies. This was hugely beneficial for not only the youth delegates, but also the business leaders, who were able to gain youth perspectives on what they felt business people could be working on in 2018.
Yao Chen - Chinese actress, philanthropist, one of Time's most influential people 2014 and Forbes 83rd most powerful woman in the world - shared her experiences doing refugee work with the United Nations, leaving youth delegates feeling optimistic about how they could contribute to their communities.
The APEC CEO Summit 2018 Cultural Night and Dinner on board The Pacific Explorer cruise ship marked the end of the APEC Voices of the Future 2018 programme, and start of the delegates' experience at the APEC CEO Summit 2018. Youth delegates were able to network with CEOs and high-profile businesspeople who attended the APEC CEO Summit 2018 - again, hugely beneficial interactions for both the youth delegates and businesspeople.
For most delegates, the APEC CEO Summit 2018 was the highlight of the APEC Voices of the Future 2018 experience. Delegates heard from CEOs of world-renowned companies such as Total, UPS and ExxonMobil.
On the final day of the APEC CEO Summit 2018, delegates heard from APEC Economic Leaders - H.E. Mahathir Bin Mohamad, Prime Minister of Malaysia, H.E. Carrie Lam, Chief Executive of Hong Kong, H.E. Scott Morrison, Prime Minister of Australia, H.E. Dmitry Medvedev, Prime Minister of Russia, H.E. Xi Jinping, President of China and H.E. Michael Pence, Vice-President of the United States.
Finally, the youth delegates gathered on the cruise ship to show their appreciation for the organisers of APEC Voices of the Future 2018. The delegates each signed the APEC Voices 2018 Youth Declaration they had created over their time at the Summit, which would be handed to Heads of APEC Member Economies for their consideration when they met on November 18 2018.
“I have a personal attachment to the APEC Voices Program because I launched it in 1998 in Malaysia. Since then, APEC Voices of the Future program has not looked back, going from strength to strength, and here we are today, celebrating its 20th Anniversary.”