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Vitit Muntharbhorn Calls for Youth Voices at UN Summit of the Future

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The voices of people, particularly the youth, must resonate at the United Nations Summit of the Future, where their perspectives should be woven into the final communique before its signing. This emphatic call came from human rights activist Vitit Muntharbhorn during a lively seminar aimed at gearing up Thailand for this year’s pivotal summit.

The Summit of the Future, a prestigious high-level event, aims to convene world leaders to forge an international consensus on how UN member states can collaboratively strive for a brighter tomorrow. This illustrious gathering will take place at the UN’s iconic headquarters in New York on September 22-23, culminating in the endorsement of the “Pact of the Future.” This landmark document will delineate the participants’ unwavering commitments to sustainable development, development financing, international peace and security, as well as the advancement of science, technology, innovation, digital cooperation, and the empowerment of youth and future generations through transformed global governance.

While the event is poised to underscore the global dedication to international cooperation, Mr. Vitit expressed his skepticism regarding the summit’s capability to revive multilateralism, which seems to be dwindling amid the escalating rivalries among the world’s major powers. He pointed out that although the Pact of the Future aims to serve as a platform for broader stakeholder engagement, the current drafting process falls short of inclusivity.

“It’s invariably the executives from ministries who get representation in these meetings, leaving [ordinary] people without an opportunity to have their voices heard,” he lamented.

The passionate human rights activist called on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to actively involve youth groups, thereby amplifying their chances of being heard on such an esteemed international stage. He proposed that the government leverage existing institutions like the Thailand Youth and Children Council, instead of establishing new entities for the same purpose. He emphasized that participants of the summit have been encouraged to host more gatherings before the main event to gather more input from the younger generation.

“We have all sorts of children’s councils scattered across Thailand, yet none are present here [at the seminar]. Young people should be the ones occupying these seats, with direct access to the UN,” Mr. Vitit stressed. “Listening solely to the ministry’s voice is not enough. The genuine voice of the common people must reach the UN to uphold the spirit and promise of the UN Charter, which starts with the powerful words ‘We the People’,” he concluded emphatically.


  1. Emily Johnson June 3, 2024

    It’s great to see someone advocating for the youth. Too often, their voices are silenced. More power to Vitit Muntharbhorn!

    • MikeT77 June 3, 2024

      Absolutely, but will it actually happen? The UN’s track record on inclusive decision-making isn’t exactly stellar.

      • Emily Johnson June 3, 2024

        You’re right, MikeT77. Still, we have to keep pushing for change. Even small steps can make a difference.

      • Sara Wynn June 3, 2024

        Sometimes, the change starts with local actions. Thailand involving its youth more could set a precedent for others.

    • Claire B June 3, 2024

      I feel like we hear these calls for inclusiveness all the time, but they rarely result in actual participation.

  2. John P. June 3, 2024

    Having youth voices at the UN is crucial, but I worry it’s more about optics than genuine change.

    • EcoWarrior94 June 3, 2024

      You’re spot on, John. They need to give youth real influence, not just a token seat at the table.

    • Harry D June 3, 2024

      Tokenism is a real risk, but isn’t some representation better than none? At least it’s a starting point.

      • John P. June 3, 2024

        True, Harry. But if it’s only for show, it might discourage more genuine engagement in the future.

  3. Sarah Lee June 3, 2024

    Why do we constantly rely on old institutions to solve new problems? The same structures that created issues can’t be trusted to solve them.

    • Peter M June 3, 2024

      Well, what’s the alternative then? We still need some form of organized international governance.

      • Sarah Lee June 3, 2024

        True, Peter. We need reform, though. Injecting fresh voices and perspectives, like the youth, is a step towards that.

  4. Anna June 3, 2024

    I think Vitit Muntharbhorn has a point. Ministries tend to represent their own interests rather than the people’s.

  5. Carlos_G June 3, 2024

    Skepticism is warranted. Big powers like the US and China aren’t good at playing nice with others.

    • Jenny Larsen June 3, 2024

      But Carlos, isn’t that precisely why we need forums like the UN to mediate?

    • Carlos_G June 3, 2024

      You’re right, Jenny, but mediation only works if everyone is willing to compromise, which isn’t often the case.

  6. Jackson S. June 3, 2024

    Focusing on sustainability and youth is key to the future. We need more of this kind of proactive thinking.

  7. bigfootfan84 June 3, 2024

    All this talk about the future while ignoring immediate problems like poverty and war. Typical UN smokescreen.

    • Laura V June 3, 2024

      Addressing future issues doesn’t mean ignoring current ones. It’s all interconnected.

    • bigfootfan84 June 3, 2024

      Maybe, but how many of these grand plans actually result in tangible improvements for people who are suffering right now?

  8. Maya W. June 3, 2024

    Imagine a world where young people actually got to influence major decisions. We could see some real changes!

  9. Robert T June 3, 2024

    Involving youth is great, but should we focus on actual education reform first? Many are ill-prepared to tackle such complex issues.

    • EduActivist22 June 3, 2024

      Yes! Education reform needs to go hand-in-hand with giving them a voice. It’s a holistic approach.

    • Robert T June 3, 2024

      Exactly. Empowering youth must include preparing them with the knowledge and tools they need to be effective leaders.

    • Maya W. June 3, 2024

      True, Robert. But let’s not make perfect the enemy of the good. They can learn and adapt as they go.

  10. th3_truth June 3, 2024

    This summit sounds like a waste of time if it’s not fully inclusive. Lip service isn’t going to cut it.

  11. Katherine June 3, 2024

    How about more transparency in the drafting process then? We need to see how these decisions are made.

    • Olivia 88 June 3, 2024

      Transparency is key! It’s one way to ensure that promises made are promises kept.

    • Katherine June 3, 2024

      Exactly, Olivia. Without open processes, skepticism will always cloud these initiatives.

  12. DaveC June 3, 2024

    Muntharbhorn’s critique of multilateralism is spot-on. National interests often overshadow collective goals.

    • Alejandro N June 3, 2024

      It’s hard to get everyone on the same page when their priorities are so different.

  13. Linda_M June 3, 2024

    If we don’t include young people in discussions about their future, we’re setting ourselves up for failure.

  14. Mitch June 3, 2024

    People need to be realistic. Not everyone, especially youth, has the maturity to make these big decisions.

    • Jessica L June 3, 2024

      Mitch, underestimating the youth has been a historical mistake. They often bring fresh and innovative perspectives.

      • Mitch June 3, 2024

        Fair point, Jessica. But the onus is on ensuring they have the guidance to make well-informed decisions.

    • Steve H June 3, 2024

      I agree, Jessica. Remember the saying, ‘From the mouths of babes’? Sometimes simple, unjaded perspectives are exactly what we need.

  15. Eve June 3, 2024

    Empowering youth may sound ideal, but will it actually challenge the existing power structures?

    • Ravi June 3, 2024

      It’s a start, Eve. Change doesn’t happen overnight. Every step forward counts.

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