Delegates to the APEC Voices of the Future (VOF) (Source: apec2017.vn)

 Da Nang (VNA) – Delegates to the APEC Voices of the Future (VOF) spoke highly of the results of the forum, which was held from November 6-10 on the sidelines of the APEC 2017 Economic Leaders’ Week.

“I think after five days in Vietnam, the result is very encouraging. The young people interacted with the leaders and some of them met the heads of governments and voiced their concerns,” said James Soh, Co-Chair of the APEC Voices Leadership Council.

They told the governments to consult and work with them because they want to make Asia Pacific a dynamic region, he said, adding that Vietnam provides a very good platform for them to interact with the governments of APEC economies. 

According to James Soh, the delegates are impressed with not only the forum but also the visit to beautiful Hoi An ancient town, the peace village and mural village in the central province of Quang Nam that some of the young people have never seen if they don’t participate in the APEC Voices of the Future. 

“Now they have better understanding of Vietnam and I told them after all the hardwork, they should try to spend a few days in Vietnam and enjoy the beauty of country,” he said.

Le Thi Huong, a delegate from Vietnam, said this VOF was a successful event. It offered her opportunities to meet with and voice their wishes to the leaders of 21 APEC economies.

At the forum, the Vietnamese delegation voiced the contributions of Vietnamese youth and suggested each member economy help its young people better understanding of APEC, she said.

Each economy should have an online forum where youngsters can send their questions and aspirations to, she added.

VOF is an opportunity for all young people in not only Vietnam but also other APEC members to sit together to talk about the future of their economies and the whole APEC, according to Huong.

Catalina Villanueva Matar from Mexico said youths are really important as they are the future of economies.

The biggest interest of young people is to have their voiced heard, she said, adding that forums like VOF should have seminars to discuss what involve the youth and the active participation of not only local youth but global youth, because they are future leaders.

Meanwhile, Robert Lachlan Deppeler, an Australian delegate, said he was was most impressed with the first topic, Vision beyond 2020.

“I think a lot of the youth have excellent ideas and I hope all ideas will be taken into account and be implemented,” he noted.

He also emphasised the importance of the youth declaration, which can be measured only when it is implemented by the leaders.

“We are trying to talk to, try to make our voices heard and I think that it is fundamentally important that the leaders take note. I do believe that all of us can make the voices heard. It’s remarkable to hear that so many people have similar ideas and I think it is really promising to the future,” he said.-VNA