AIT Director lauds Taiwan's efforts to foster young talent from Pacific Islands

The Pacific Islands Leadership Program, co-organized by Taiwanese and American institutes, wrapped up in Taipei on Oct. 24

The 2018 Pacific Islands Leadership Program is opened on Sep. 17 in Taipei (Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs/ File photo)

The 2018 Pacific Islands Leadership Program is opened on Sep. 17 in Taipei (Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs/ File photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — During Wednesday's closing ceremony for a Taiwan-U.S. training program aimed at fostering young talent, Director of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Brent Christensen lauded Taiwan for sharing experiences in addressing challenges faced by the world today, saying “we see no better partner than Taiwan.”

Taiwan’s foreign ministry (MOFA) held the closing ceremony of the Pacific Islands Leadership Program (PILP) on Wednesday. Proposed by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, the program has been co-organized annually by the Hawaii-based research institute, East-West Center, and MOFA’s Institute of Diplomatic & International Affairs since 2013, providing a total of three-month training in both Taiwan and the United States for young leaders from the Pacific.

Remarking that “we see no better partner than Taiwan,” the AIT director said Taiwan has not only addressed many challenges of the modern world, but has the willingness to share its experiences as its neighbors to address these same challenges. “Taiwan has demonstrated its leadership by convening partners from around the region and around the world, so they can share experiences and build lasting networks of experts.”

Speaking in front of several ambassadors to Taiwan from Pacific islands states including Palau, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, and Nauru, the American representative reaffirmed that the United States is a Pacific nation whose Indo-Pacific Strategy is dedicated to protecting free markets, cultivating good governance, and enhancing regional stability through partnerships across the Indo-Pacific.

“Our commitment remains strong and we look forward to working with all of you over the coming years to build an even brighter future for the entire Pacific Islands region,” added Christensen.

MOFA said the PILP has become of one of the most representative leadership training programs in the region and showed Taiwan’s determination to support development in the Pacific region.

Twenty-two young leaders from dozens of Pacific islands, many of which are Taiwan’s diplomatic allies, took part in the six-week training in Taiwan this year, with topics spanning from education, green energy, health care, industrial development, to international cooperation, according to MOFA.