Young people deliver strong message to APEC leaders

Young people deliver strong message to APEC leaders

APEC Voices of the Future 2021 New Zealand delegate Jess Jenkins (left) hands the Youth Declaration over to New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (right). (ANTARA/HO-APEC New Zealand)

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 center susta
Jakarta (ANTARA) - A raft of practical approaches to help address global issues was delivered to APEC leaders by youth delegates partaking in APEC Voices of the Future 2021.

Some 90 delegates from 21 APEC economies have been meeting online this week to discuss four key issues covering the impact of COVID-19, the digital future, climate change and sustainability, and socio-economic inclusion, as noted in a release issued by APEC New Zealand and received here on Thursday.

The delegates’ Youth Declaration, presented to APEC 2021 Chair Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, 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 environment, society, and future generations.


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Specific ideas suggested by the Voices of the Future delegates comprise cooperation to combat COVID-19, APEC to create an emergency fund to provide financial support to members during future pandemics, and developing a common set of pandemic protocols.

Some ideas suggested by the Voices of the Future delegates regarding a digital future are overcoming coverage and affordability issues to improve digital connectivity and literacy as well as holding technology companies accountable, and establishing independent fact-checkers to combat disinformation.

On the climate change issue, the Voices of the Future delegates suggested APEC leaders to invest far more in research and development, to allow a shift away from unsustainable materials, such as plastics and fossil fuels, to develop carbon capture technology, to create a circular economy, and to push the 3Rs of waste management – reduce, reuse, recycle.

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The delegates made it clear that with one billion young people constituting 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 center 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," according to the APEC Youth Declaration.


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