Pacific Islands Leadership Program kicks off Taiwan leg
Taipei, Sept. 17 (CNA) The Taiwan leg of the annual Pacific Islands Leadership Program (PILP) kicked off in Taipei Monday, when 22 participants from a number of Pacific island nations began a six- week in-depth training session to sharpen their leadership skills by learning firsthand from Taiwanese expertise in various fields.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Vice Foreign Minister Jose Maria Liu (劉德立) said the PILP participants will have the opportunity to learn more about Taiwan by exchanging views with local officials, scholars, businesspeople and non-governmental organization representatives.
This year's program began Aug. 20 with a one-month engagement in experiential learning exercises at the East-West Center's campus in Hawaii, followed by the six weeks in Taiwan at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' (MOFA's) Institute of Diplomacy and International Affairs.
"The program is a good example of what can be achieved when the United States, Taiwan and Pacific Island nations work together," he said.
Established in 2013 with a grant from MOFA in cooperation with East-West Center, the PILP is designed to provide opportunities to enhance the leadership capabilities of individuals in the Pacific region and build a network of young leaders who can contribute to lasting people-to-people relations across the Pacific, Asia and the U.S.
According to Liu, Taiwan and the Pacific island nations share interest in the areas of clean energy, climate change, environmental protection and regional security. PILP is a unique platform for future leaders to meet peers in the region to address challenges arising in the future, he added.
Now in its sixth year, the annual project has so far trained a total of 122 participants from 15 countries spanning the Pacific region.
In a speech at the opening ceremony, Raymond Greene, deputy director of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), said Taiwan is the best partner for providing invaluable opportunities for citizens of the Pacific nations to enhance their leadership capabilities.
Taiwan is the regional leader in economic, environmental, health care and social benchmarks, he said, adding that Washington has witnessed firsthand Taipei's commitment to helping Pacific island countries attain greater prosperity.
This year, the 22 participants are from Palau, Fiji, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Kiribati, Tahiti, Tuvalu, West Samoa, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Solomon Islands and Hawaii, according to MOFA.
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