Tuvalu Ambassador Minute Alapati Taupo Acts as Honorary Captain at Taiwan’s 2014 International Youth Ambassadors Exchange Program Launch Ceremony/吐瓦魯國駐華大使陶敏德在「103年國際青年大使交流計畫」開跑記者會上擔任名譽團長 / by Minute Taupo

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        On the morning of 6 March 2014, H.E. Ambassador Minute Alapati Taupo attended the “2014 Youth Ambassadors Exchange Program Kick-off Ceremony and Press Conference” hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of China (Taiwan) at Taipei’s Chientan Youth Activity Center. Ambassador Taupo was joined at the event by the Ambassadors of Belize, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Saint Christopher and Nevis, and Sao Tome and Principe; representatives from the Embassy of the Kingdom of Swaziland, the American Institute in Taiwan, and the Canadian Trade Office in Taipei; as well as officials from Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the China Youth Corps. Opening remarks at the event were delivered by Vanessa Y.P. Shih, Vice Minister for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Dr. Chang Te-tsung, Director of the China Youth Corps; H.E. William Tapia, Ambassador for Nicaragua; and Ms. Shen Hsin-ling, the Youth Ambassadors Program spokesperson.

        Following several speeches and performances by drumming, acrobatics, and dance groups from National Taiwan University of Arts, an official launch ceremony for the 2014 Exchange Program was held, during which Ambassador Taupo was invited to act as the Honorary Captain for the Program’s Asia-Pacific Group 1. After Honorary Captains for all legs of the Exchange Program gathered on stage, the Program for 2014 was declared to have officially commenced.

        This year, the “Youth Ambassadors Exchange Program” is organized by the China Youth Corps under the auspices of Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Now in its sixth year, the program currently entails an intensive three-tiered application process, after which 128 Taiwanese students are selected to participate in the program and divided into eight groups. These groups are sent to eight separate areas across the world to enhance relationships between Taiwan and countries with which it maintains friendly or official diplomatic ties, and Tuvalu is specifically featured as a stop for Youth Ambassadors in the Program’s Asia-Pacific Group 1, which travels to Australia, Fiji, Tuvalu, and the Solomon Islands. In addition to solidifying international relationships, the objectives of the program include increasing global understandings of Taiwan’s “flexible diplomacy” policy, enhancing Taiwan’s image on the international stage, encouraging cultural exchange, and assisting young people in gaining an improved appreciation for international affairs.

     2014年3月6日上午,吐瓦魯國駐華大使陶敏德於劍潭海外青年活動中心出席中華民國外交部舉行之「103年國際青年大使交流計畫」開跑記者會。與大使一同出席開跑記者會之各國代表包括貝里斯、瓜地馬拉、尼加拉瓜、巴拉圭、聖克里斯多福及尼維斯以及聖多美普林西比等國之駐華大使,及史瓦濟蘭王國大使館一等秘書、美國在臺協會與加拿大駐臺北貿易辦事處代表,以及中華民國外交部與中國青年救國團代表等貴賓。在記者會上,外交部次長史亞平、救國團主任張德聰、尼加拉瓜駐華大使達比亞,以及活動代言人沈芯菱先後致詞。

  在開幕致詞與國立臺灣藝術大學準備之打擊樂、體操及舞蹈演出結束後,國際青年大使交流計畫主辦單位舉行正式開跑儀式。開跑儀式上,陶敏德大使受邀上台擔任交流計畫「亞太一團」之名譽團長。接著,交流計畫所有名譽團長上台,活動主持人並宣布「103年國際青年大使交流計畫」正式開始。

    「國際青年大使交流計畫」由中華民國外交部委託中國青年救國團辦理。今年該計畫邁入第6年,並從本年起,將採三階段甄選方式錄取128個青年學生以組成8個交流團隊(分別命名為亞太一團、亞太二團、北美及加勒比海一團、北美及加勒比海二團、拉美一團、拉美二團、歐洲及非洲團,以及亞西及非洲團)。這些團隊在今年9月、10月間將赴訪8個不同地區以深化臺灣與邦交國及友好國家之關係。組成「亞太一團」之青年大使們將赴吐國交流訪問;該團隊亦將訪問澳洲、斐濟以及索羅門群島。除了鞏固臺灣與邦交國及友好國家之關係外,青年大使計畫之宗旨還包括使民眾瞭解臺灣政府之「活路外交」政策及其成績、提升臺灣國際良好形象、促進文化交流以及擴大青年學生國際視野。