11 October 2022
Last week the 2022 APEC Voices of the Future delegation met in person for the first time in Wellington! We spent two days visiting key stakeholders including the wider CAPE team, past APEC Secretariat Director Alan Bollard, the APEC team at MFAT, and APEC Voices alumni and trustees. Meeting Alan Bollard and visiting the APEC team at MFAT would have been two of the highlights of the trip.
Alan shared with us his abundance of knowledge about the history of APEC, its significance on the international stage, and its relevance to Aotearoa New Zealand. Delegates also took the opportunity to ask Alan questions on the upcoming APEC Summit in Thailand, and his views how the current situation in Russia and the Ukraine may affect the dynamics of the Summit.
MFAT welcomed us in their Whare Aorere and spent the morning sharing valuable insights about the importance of diplomacy and MFAT’s role in the APEC eco-system with our delegation. The team expressed that they look forward to crossing paths with the delegates in Thailand, and they were hopeful to connect them with Prime Minster Ardern and Minster O’Connor throughout the events.
The trip concluded with an invitation to Parliament for the Latin America CAPE’s flagship event “Celebrating 50 Years of New Zealand and Chilean Embassies: A Focus on Education, Government, and People-to-People Links”. The event summed up nicely what the delegation had learned about APEC and diplomacy during their time in Wellington and was a great opportunity to see international relations in action. Special guest speakers included high-profile politicians in the space, as well as Hon Chris Hipkins, Minister of Education, and Rt Hon Helen Clark.
We can’t wait to hear more about our delegates’ journey!