Global Festival is an annual event by University of Indonesia with a range of activities such as seminar, competition and cultural festival. I joined the writing competition once.
Global Festival 2012 invited international university students from all over the world to take part in its one and only article writing competition. The theme description was that Asia Pacific’s future advancement, especially its economic cooperation in regional area through Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) would look from young generation’s views. Therefore, the topic of Article Writing Competition for 2012 was “The Future of APEC: APEC in Youth’s Perspective”. Opinions and overviews about forthcoming APEC from youth would predict how APEC will maintain its work and significance in Asia Pacific region.
Here is my perspective on the forthcoming APEC:
Youth Active Involvement in APEC Action Plans to Assure the Significant Rise of APEC in the Future
Asia Pacific Economic Community (APEC) forum is the premier economic organization in the Asia-Pacific region. Established in 1989 by 12 economies, including the United States, APEC fosters growth and prosperity by facilitating economic cooperation and expanding trade and investment throughout the region.
Youth has long participated in the rising of Asia Pacific region, including Asia Pacific Economy Community. Youth perspective in APEC now is no more just like watching the work of the program or catch on every issue from APEC, but youth has already involved quite a lot in the activities of APEC, comparable to economies leaders.
For example, APEC Youth Summit which always being held at the same time with the APEC Leaders Week has been conducted for more than 5 years ago annually. The APEC Youth Summit 2012 will gather active youth representatives from 21 member economy of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation. Participants will represent their countries, economies and communities making this event a great platform for expression of youth voice on vital issues of the Asia Pacific in the 21st century.
The latest event, the APEC 2012 priorities will be reflected in the agenda items of the Youth Summit. Trade and investment liberalization, food security, reliable supply chains and innovative growth will be discussed in 4 Working Groups of the APEC Youth Summit 2012, namely: Energy Working Group, Group on Small and Medium Enterprises, Agricultural Technical Cooperation Working Group and Transportation Working Group. Each Working Group is to elaborate their recommendations regarding the agenda and scope of its work. These recommendations compose the final document. APEC Youth Leaders Declaration should be transmitted to APEC Leaders to be evaluated, discussed and judged upon. Best representative youth of each Working Group will become the rapporteurs, and will be credentialed to present APEC Youth Leaders Declaration to the Leaders.
From the summit, youth will have a declaration of the action plan from member economies, those action will also be done by youth representative from each member economies. Youth will find out the most innovative approaches to solve crucial problems of the region.
APEC provides people in the Asia-Pacific region with 21st Century competencies and skills through education. From the moment of its foundation in 1990, the Human Resources Development Working Group, within the framework of the Managing Committee of Senior Officials concerning the issues of economic and technical cooperation, has been providing its input into human resources development via the implementation of three network programs in the fields of: human resources development (Capacity Building Network); education (Education Network); and labor and social protection (Labor and Social Protection Network).
The APEC ministerial meeting on education is held once every four years. In 2012, the ministerial meeting is to take place in Seoul. The previous meeting of education ministers took place in Peru in 2008 under the framework “Education for the achievement of the 21st century: knowledge and competence for everyone” and it focused on the integration of knowledge and skills typical of the APEC Western and Eastern economies. This theme of 21st skills was also repeated in the 1992, 2004 and 2008 meetings while the 2004 meeting theme was also on future skills.
While cooperation on skills identification and development is an appropriate activity for technical cooperation the limited extent to which the HRD working group and the Education Network (EDNET) in particular has been able to focus on, align with and engage effectively with overall APEC priorities highlights the need for an innovative approach to the critical issue of cross-border education exchange.
The experiences of the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU), University Mobility in the Asia Pacific (UMAP), the ASEAN University Network (AUN), bilateral and multilateral university partnerships as well as the substantial inter-economy mobility of students within APEC demonstrates the demand for and willingness for enhanced education engagement in the region. These university network programs will need the contribution of youth.
However the low level of GATS commitments on education services, and the low level of education provider and course mobility as compared to student mobility evidences that youth need to go further in improving the openness and transparency of education systems so as to allow future generations of young people to be better prepared to address future challenges and demands in environment, food technology, marine resources and biomedicine as well as to acquire the knowledge and linkages to facilitate trade and investment within the Asia-Pacific.
Besides the above leader declaration for APEC action plan, youth also have declaration as explained before to be proposed to the leaders. As the future leaders, the youth have gathered to consider areas important to our future sustainable development and economic prosperity, promotion of SME internationalization and enhancing the effectiveness of SME innovation, renewable and innovative energy technology implementation and the promotion of energy technologies, Food Security, competencies and skills through education.
Youth recognise that internationalisation is important for the sustainable growth of SMEs in the Asia-Pacific region. Collaboration amongst APEC member economies is critical to identify best practices that assist SMEs in accessing international opportunities.
APEC should empowering the youth of APEC Member Economies as a resource to play an active part online, by participating in research proposals, internships, scholarships and general consultations where relevant to their area of study for the comprehensive approach to the promotion of SME internationalisation.
Youth recognise the importance of reaffirming the development of young SME entrepreneurship within the APEC member economies, as youth believe this significantly contributes to the strength and on-going stability of the economies within the Asia-Pacific region.
Youth also encourage the creation of a Young Entrepreneurship Advisory Council (YEAC) of young entrepreneurs representing APEC Member Economies in addendum to the ABAC in order to support, coincide with, and add value to the development of SMEs within the APEC region. This will achieve:
- The provision of grants, funding and lending opportunities to participating young entrepreneurs within YEAC;
- The provision of business advice specific to young entrepreneurs within the space throughout the APEC region;
- Timely response and assistance when the various YEAC-APEC Member Economies request information about SME-related issues or to provide the business perspective on specific areas of cooperation;
- Dialogue regarding specific SME sector priorities, challenges and opportunities facing young entrepreneurship throughout the APEC region;
- Mentorship of participating young entrepreneurs within YEAC by existing ABAC members and their respective business networks;
The continuity in future years, where ultimately, would make the current or previous YEAC members may become members of their economies ABAC.
In education network, youth are encouraging universities to continue to establish centres of innovation for the commercialisation of research. For this to be most effective, strong cooperation between centres of innovation is important.
Bearing in mind the Declaration of the APEC Education Ministerial “Toward education standards for the 21st century” of 6 August 1992, youth believe that young people will play a significant role in advancing the development of the Asia-Pacific Rim in the 21st century.
Recalling APEC Education Ministerial Meetings under the themes “A New Commitment to Asia Pacific Development” and “Future Challenges and Educational Responses: Fostering Global, Innovative and Cooperative Education” of the years 2008 and 2012 and referring to the 2nd APEC Symposium on Education Reform “Education to Achieve 21st Century Competencies and Skills for All: Respecting the Past to Move Toward the Future”, youth deem that all practical problems that are urgent today can be solved by virtue of an innovative and youth-oriented approach. Youth want to underline the extreme importance of role of youth towards this goal’s achievement and to stress its attention on vital necessity of the young people’s inclusion into the process of capacity building in such fast-developing region as APEC.
Youth agree to actively contribute to implementation and the general development of the project, initiatives and programs elaborated by the Education Network (EDNET). Through the EDNET framework, education officials in the public, private, and government sectors will meet to develop a Strategic Plan for achieving 21st Century Learning Opportunities in the Asia-Pacific Region. This strategic plan will be a part of the current work being done by EDNET’s Education Cooperation Project to create the report titled “APEC Educational Cooperation Strategies” currently in development, which will be submitted at the 2016 APEC Ministerial Meeting on Education. It will also be the first major cooperative agreement specifically on building 21st Century skills through education, and be proposed for adoption at the next APEC Ministerial Meeting on Education in 2016.
Youth agree on the importance of knowledge sharing through an international education. This exposure can give APEC residents and awareness of the APEC area. Such knowledge can contribute to the development of this region. Youth support more cross-regional academic activities, and that is why youth promote the establishment of APEC Universities Network. This Network will elaborate common scientific research and an educational base for the Asia-Pacific Region and will provide active academic mobility in the region. This will accelerate one of three pillars of APEC HRDWG, which is to develop 21st Century Knowledge and Skills for All. Moreover, the establishment of APEC Universities Network will be one more step towards the regional integration within the Asia-Pacific Rim.
Youth through APEC Youth Summit, support the promotion of the exchange of students and professors between universities. Youth also support short term Study Tours that have the capacity to introduce students to foreign countries. Youth believe universities and other organizations could provide more opportunities like exchange programs for students to receive international education, to experience different cultures and to promote cross-cultural understanding.
Youth encourage young people to participate in cross-regional activities. The purpose of this prestigious program would be to create a sense of connection across the Pacific and increase the exposure of those with merit to APEC’s numerous countries, cultures, and societies.
Youth encourage cooperation between domestic governments and youth-oriented Non-Governmental Organizations to increase the engagement of youth and foster the dialogue between the youth and the government.
Youth encourage the establishment of an APEC International Forum for Youth Leaders in order to let young people exchange knowledge, ideas, experience and projects. This forum will become an educational platform where young people can gain practical experience from professors, experts and business representatives and lay the groundwork for their future professional activities. Lastly, youth also recommend the establishment of an online forum to allow proactive youth to exchange ideas and to acquire information about international activities held in APEC Economies.
From those short points of youth declaration in APEC Youth Summit, I assure the readers and youth all around the world that APEC significant future gain need the collaboration of youth actively. It is proved on some programs which need the involvement of youth directly and the result of the program themselves are youth oriented.
Me myself, had the chance to become the youth delegate for Indonesia in APEC Youth Summit 2012, and it was just a small amount of youth to come participate in the summit as the delegate. In my vision is that youth could not just run APEC Youth Declaration without other youth from APEC member. So, I encourage youth to work together realizing the youth perspective for APEC future through the APEC programs and actively involved in the execution of the declaration to manage the action plan.
The development of Asia Pacific countries in last decades is prominent. APEC gets more attention from countries in the world. Thus, I encourage so much to the rest of youth to also contribute and collaborate with other youth from APEC member economies to support the programs and be the change.
I wrote it processing from my own thoughts and many sources but unfortunately I forgot to write the sources. If you think that the statements quoted are yours, please comment.