US-Taiwan Pacific leadership program opens in Taipei

Six-week training program to foster future leadership in Pacific region

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Participants of the 2019 Pacific Islands Leadership Program. (Source: MOFA)

Participants of the 2019 Pacific Islands Leadership Program. (Source: MOFA)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — More than a dozen officials and professionals from Pacific island nations are in Taipei for a program jointly led by the U.S. and Taiwan that is aimed at fostering leadership in the region.

The 2019 Pacific Islands Leadership Program with Taiwan (PILP) kicked off on Monday (Oct. 28). A total of 13 participants from eight Pacific countries are undergoing six weeks of training as part of the three-month program, which takes place in both Taiwan and Hawaii.

Participants will be exposed to Taiwan’s socio-economic situation, its relations with other countries, and the regional situation through field trips, seminars, and workshops. Issues laid out in the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals will also be addressed, including green energy, water resources, vocational training, women’s empowerment, and public health.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), the program underscores the advanced partnership between Taiwan and the U.S. and their bilateral efforts to promote sustainable development in the Pacific. The opening ceremony on Monday was attended by Palau’s ambassador to Taiwan Dilmei L. Olkeriil, American Institute in Taiwan representative Brad S. Parker, and Christina Monroe, director of the Leadership Program of the Honolulu-based research institute East-West Center.

The program was finalized through a memorandum of understanding inked by MOFA and East-West Center in December 2012. A total of 144 Pacific leaders have completed the program since 2013.