Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) 2016
November 13 - 19, 2016
On November 13, 2016, six students — London Anderson ('17) from Heiskell, TN (Political Science); John Bleed ('17) from Wheaton, IL Political Science (History); Crystal Brockington ('18) from Conyers, GA (Political Science, Communication Studies); Tien Thuy Hoang ('17) from Hue, Vietnam (Economics, Math-Economics); Emilee O'Brien AZ ('17) from Wilbraham, MA (Political Science, Poverty Studies) and Julia Reynolds ('17) from Concord, MA (Political Science, Philosophy) along with Dr. Jason Jones, Department of Economics, Carol Asalon, Riley Institute, and Jill Fuson, Riley Institute, attended the 2016 APEC conference in Lima, Peru where they served as citizen diplomats.
Tien Thuy Hoang was bestowed the honor of representing Vietnam at the APEC Voices 2016. Vietnam will be the host country for APEC 2017 and Tien will hand over the baton to the Vietnamese APEC Voices representative.
Students were also be involved with the Youth Forum. This year's topic for the Youth Forum is "How can youths play a role as community leaders to promote quality growth and human development in the Asia Pacific Region?". John Bleed presented the United States' position on this topic and Emilee O'Brien represented the United States in drafting the youth declaration. Tien represented Vietnam in drafting their youth declaration.
John Bleed presenting the U.S. position
Tien Hoang presenting the Vietnamese position
It was an experience of a lifetime for these students. Gray Johnson and Mallary Taylor, who attended APEC 2015 in Manila, summed up their experience in an Op-Ed article: "APEC, diversity in all its forms — heritage, nationality, experience, job sector — proved to be the element that truly allowed us to learn, engage and connect with each other, resulting in meaningful solutions to the world’s challenges. During that week, the Paris attacks highlighted the destruction and violence that can arise from intolerance. Meeting with the other delegates from around the world gave us hope that there is still plenty of room for respect, discussion, and collaboration as we progress toward a shared vision for our global future."