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Vitit Muntharbhorn Urges Youth Participation at Critical UN Summit of the Future

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The voices of the people, especially the youth, must resonate at the United Nations’ Summit of the Future later this year, urged human rights activist Vitit Muntharbhorn on Monday. Speaking at a seminar aimed at preparing Thailand for the September summit, Vitit’s call emphasizes an often overlooked demographic: the young, whose fresh perspectives could significantly shape global discourse.

This illustrious Summit of the Future is set to be a high-stakes gathering. World leaders will converge with a singular mission—to forge an international consensus on how UN member states can collectively create a better tomorrow. Come September 22-23, the grand halls of the UN headquarters in New York will buzz with ideas, closing with the signing of a transformative “Pact of the Future.” This pivotal document will outline commitments to sustainable development, international peace and security, scientific and technological innovation, youth empowerment, and the reimagining of global governance.

While the summit aims to reaffirm international cooperation, Vitit voiced skepticism about its ability to salvage multilateralism—a concept currently teetering due to the geopolitical rivalries of global powers. Despite the noble intentions behind the Pact of the Future, Vitit critiqued its drafting process for its lack of inclusivity. “It’s always the ministers and high-ranking officials who are represented at these meetings. The people, the very essence of any nation, have no chance to make their voices heard,” he lamented.

Urging the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to involve youth groups more actively, Vitit highlighted the potential impact of young voices on the international stage. Instead of establishing new bodies, he suggested engaging existing ones like the Thailand Youth and Children Council. “We have a plethora of children’s councils across Thailand, but where are they now? Young people should be occupying these seats, and they must have access to the UN,” he pressed.

With the summit participants encouraged to hold preliminary meetings to gather more youth input, the call to action is clear. “Don’t just tune in to the ministry’s voice. The voices of common people must also have the power to reach the UN to uphold the spirit and promise of the UN charter, which grandly begins with ‘We the People,'” Vitit concluded.


  1. Samantha J June 3, 2024

    It’s imperative that young people are given a platform at the UN Summit of the Future. Their innovative ideas and fresh perspectives are crucial for creating sustainable solutions.

    • TommyZ June 3, 2024

      While it’s nice to think young people can make a difference, in reality, they usually lack the experience needed for such high-level discussions.

      • Samantha J June 3, 2024

        Experience is important, but so is innovation. You can’t keep doing the same thing and expect different results.

      • Amanda Lee June 3, 2024

        Young people are more in tune with the current and future issues we’ll be facing. Their input is invaluable.

    • James K June 3, 2024

      Exactly! Plus, involving youth helps bridge the gap between generations when it comes to policy-making.

  2. Michael Hunter June 3, 2024

    This is just another PR stunt by the UN. Real change requires more than symbolic gestures!

    • Ella M June 3, 2024

      Cynicism won’t get us anywhere. Engagement might not solve everything, but it’s a step in the right direction.

    • Michael Hunter June 3, 2024

      Perhaps, but if history is any guide, it’s likely to be more talk and less action.

    • Sarah 87 June 3, 2024

      But isn’t the point of these summits to build momentum for real action? Every journey begins with a single step.

  3. Liam June 3, 2024

    Vitit’s call for youth participation is powerful, but let’s not forget the logistical issues involved. How can we ensure youth voices are truly represented and not just tokenized?

    • Karen D June 3, 2024

      Good point, Liam. Implementation is always the hardest part. There needs to be a framework to ensure that their voices are heard and taken seriously.

    • Liam June 3, 2024

      Yes, exactly. It’s easy to say ‘include youth,’ but there needs to be a concrete plan behind it.

  4. Chris Parker June 3, 2024

    Engaging youth councils is a wonderful idea. They bring energy and fresh ideas that older generations might overlook.

    • Sarah 87 June 3, 2024

      Totally agree! The youth councils can provide a structured way for young people to get involved and make a difference.

    • Stephen R June 3, 2024

      But will these councils be able to operate independently, or will they be influenced by political agendas?

  5. grower134 June 3, 2024

    This whole thing is just a charade. The real issues won’t be addressed because the powers that be don’t actually want change.

    • Sophia June 3, 2024

      While it’s easy to be skeptical, participating in these discussions can still plant the seeds for future change.

    • grower134 June 3, 2024

      We’ll see, but I’m not holding my breath.

  6. Henry Townsend June 3, 2024

    The geopolitical rivalries Vitit mentioned are the real elephant in the room. No amount of youth input can resolve deep-seated political tensions.

    • Melissa W June 3, 2024

      True, but diplomatic efforts and new perspectives might lead to innovative solutions. We have to try.

  7. Nina June 3, 2024

    Vitit is right. The process lacks inclusivity. The people who are most affected by these global decisions are seldom represented.

    • Leo D June 3, 2024

      Couldn’t agree more. Grassroots engagement is crucial for authentic representation.

    • Nina June 3, 2024

      Exactly. We need more mechanisms to ensure that voices from the ground up are heard.

  8. Emma June 3, 2024

    The ‘Pact of the Future’ sounds ambitious, but I hope it doesn’t end up being another empty promise.

  9. Daniel K June 3, 2024

    UN summits like these are essential but always seem to fall short when it comes to follow-through. Let’s hope this time is different.

  10. Mitzi June 3, 2024

    I love the idea of young people having a seat at the table. They are our future leaders, after all.

    • Jon June 3, 2024

      Absolutely, Mitzi. And they are the ones who will live with the consequences of today’s decisions.

  11. Anna June 3, 2024

    The Youth and Children Council idea is practical but is anyone in power really willing to listen to kids?

    • Ethan B June 3, 2024

      They should be. If we don’t listen to our youth, we’re ignoring a crucial part of our society and its future.

  12. Mike June 3, 2024

    It’s always easy to criticize from the outside. At least Vitit is advocating for something constructive.

  13. Carol June 3, 2024

    Every summit sounds promising until you realize it’s the same old story with no real change.

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