8 September 2022

2022 APEC Youth Voices Matter Speaking Contest: Open, Connect, and Balance at Mahidol University

Benyasiri Eimviriyapong
AUN Programme Officer;

The 2022 APEC Youth Voices Matter Speaking Contest was held under the theme: Open Connect Balance on 31 August 2022 at Mahidol University. The event has significantly shown that, despite the volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity of the current era, the youths of ASEAN are in constant engagement to Open, Connect, and Balance to build a more inclusive world for the future.

Mahidol University, one of our Core Members of the ASEAN University Network (AUN), held the internal speaking contest to discuss social, political, economic, and environmental matters surrounding the APEC region and its vast influence. Thus, creating a chance for their students to tackle issues that affect not only their close community but as well as those on the international scale. The interconnectedness amongst world issues that were discussed opened up new avenues to instil a culture of internationalization in youth leaders of today.

Amongst the various notable speeches given by the students, one noted the necessity to build a society that is open and flexible to change; one that builds strong relations between the government, private sectors, and the people, including opens up opportunities to use local knowledge in tackling societal problems to build a strong economy through a new Open Collaboration Platform. Another highlighted the importance for APEC to facilitate the rehabilitation of tourism, communication, and health security, as well as the promotion and application of the Bio-Circular-Green model. These objectives must be achieved in order to advance towards the Putrajaya Vision 2040, where communities are more resilient, sustainable, and open. It is becoming increasingly critical to address various economic, environmental, and social issues.

Gathering from the voices of future youth leaders as we enter an increasingly multipolar world order, APEC is a critical component in ensuring that citizens of the region can enjoy the fruits of their labor in a just and inclusive society. Despite the contest being held internally, the justifications and plea to build a better society has always been reflected in the hearts and minds of youths all across ASEAN. 

We invite member universities of AUN to send in highlights or short pieces of what youths in your universities are saying. Let us broadcast to the world the voices of our cherished students who are the current and future leaders of this world.