Tue, Oct 22, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Future Pacific islander leaders come to Taiwan

Staff writer, with CNA

A group of young professionals from Pacific Island nations yesterday said that they are “excited” about undertaking a leadership program in Taiwan.

The Pacific Islands Leadership Program, organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the East-West Center, a US think tank, has 21 participants aged between 20 and 40 from 10 countries who began the one-month training program yesterday.

“I’m so excited to be here and experience it firsthand,” Maybelline Ipil from the Marshall Islands said.

She is visiting Taiwan for the first time.

Ipil, a project manager at the Marshall Islands Epidemiology and Prevention Initiatives, said she is interested in learning more about public health and culture.

Papua New Guinea-based University of Goroka lecturer Jane Awi said she has been finding out about Taiwan’s assistance in helping people in her country to grow rice. She said she is looking forward to meeting people from Taiwan’s science and agriculture institutions to explore cooperation opportunities.

Also visiting Taiwan for the first time is Moape Rokosuka, a chief assistant secretary at the prime minister’s office in Fiji. He said he is looking forward to exploring Taiwan’s education system.

Before coming to Taiwan, the 21 participants received two months of training at the East-West Center in Hawaii, the ministry said.

The training in Hawaii helped them learn different leadership theories and gain more understanding of diverse issues, such as climate change and security.

The training program, which runs through Nov. 16, will provide courses aimed at enhancing their understanding of Taiwan’s political environment, economy, relations with the US and the South Pacific, developments in the areas of agriculture, education, technology and green energy, and Aboriginal culture, the ministry said.

The Institute of Diplomacy and International Affairs last year signed a agreement with the East-West Center on a joint program to develop future leaders in the Pacific island region.

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