A delegation is to visit Indonesia and New Zealand on an 11-day trip as part of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Teen Diplomatic Envoys Program.
The 12-member delegation, made up of students from the three senior-high schools that placed best in English proficiency competitions over the past three months, attended a ceremony at the ministry yesterday ahead of its departure on Thursday next week.
The delegation is headed by ministry counselor Wu Wen-ling (吳文齡) and is to visit Jakarta, Wellington and Auckland, where the students are to engage in academic and cultural exchanges with non-governmental organizations (NGO) and high schools.
They are scheduled to return on Feb. 10.
More then 400 students from 109 schools participated in the nationwide search for the Teen Diplomatic Envoys, ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) said.
Ou encouraged delegation members to show their new friends in the two countries the best of Taiwan and share the nation’s values of democracy and freedom.
Indonesia and New Zealand are two important partners of Taiwan under its New Southbound Policy, which seeks to enhance people-to-people exchanges with ASEAN, South Asia, and Australia and New Zealand.
New Zealand Commerce and Industry Office Taipei Deputy Director Aimee Jephson and Indonesian Economic and Trade Office in Taipei official Fajar Nuradi attended the ceremony.
Lai Jing-ting, (賴靖婷), one of the teen envoys, said she would proudly promote Taiwan’s values of freedom and democracy by telling students she meets about the Jan. 11 presidential and legislative elections.
Lai said she is very excited to visit Hobbiton, where some scenes from the Lord of the Rings movies were filmed.
The teen envoy program was launched in 2002 to encourage young people to focus more on international affairs.
The program aims to improve English communication skills among high-school students, so that they can better promote international cultural exchanges, the ministry said.
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