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Pacific Islanders start Taipei leg of young leaders' training program

2017/09/25 13:47:27

Taipei, Sept. 25 (CNA) The Taipei segment of an annual training program for young leaders from the Pacific Islands kicked off Monday, with the participation of 27 trainees from 10 countries.

Over the next four weeks, the participants will engage in classroom and field study in Taiwan, in the second segment of the 10-week program, which is run jointly by a Hawaii-based think tank the East-West Center, and the Institute of Diplomacy and International Affairs under Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA).

At the opening ceremony for the 2017 Pacific Islands Leadership Program with Taiwan (PILP), Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Jose Maria Liu (劉德立) said he hoped the four-week segment in Taiwan would give the participants a chance to improve their knowledge and expertise in their respective fields.

In turn, such training will help the careers of the potential young leaders, whether in the private or public sector, he said.

Under the PILP, which was first launched in 2013, the participants spent six weeks in practical learning exercises at the East-West Center in Hawaii and will engage in four weeks of field study in Taipei at the Institute of Diplomacy and International Affairs.

“We are proud that this fellowship program has empowered 96 young leaders over the past four years,” Liu said.

He said the program has been a success and MOFA will soon sign a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the American think tank to continue the program for another five years.

Also speaking at the opening ceremony, Robert Forden, deputy director of the American Institute in Taiwan, said Taiwan is a regional leader on various fronts, including economic and social development.

More importantly, Taiwan is willing to help its regional partners by sharing its expertise in selected fields, he said.

Forden encouraged the participants to take advantage of the program to enhance closer and lasting people-to-people relations among Taiwan, the U.S. and the Pacific Islands.

The program is open to early- and mid-career professionals, ages 25-38, who work in fields such as government, the media, the environment, business, health, agriculture, education and NGOs.

This year, the participants are from the Cook Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, Kiribati, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu.

(By Joseph Yeh)
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