Austronesean Cultures of Taiwan and the Marshall Islands Strengthen Exchanges
On Jan 3, 2019 the Council of Indigenous Peoples of the Republic of China (Taiwan) signed the Agreement for Cooperation on Austronesian Peoples Cultural Affairs with the Ministry of Culture and Internal Affairs of the Republic of the Marshall Islands.
The Signing Ceremony and press conference was held in Taipei with Minister Icyang of the Council of Indigenous Peoples and Minister Amenta Matthew from the Ministry of Culture and Internal Affairs of the Republic of the Marshall Islands signing the agreement.
The press conference began with a traditional blessing conducted by representatives of the Amis People.
After the signing by both Minister Icyang and Minister Amenta Matthew, Austronesean people from Taiwan and the Marshall Islands side sang traditional songs and performed traditional dances, the warm and festive scene showcasing the rich and beautiful culture of the Austronesian Peoples.
Minister Icyang stated that the contents of the agreement are based on reciprocity, with exchanges and cooperation in many fields, including language and culture, traditional wisdom and skill, economy, and sports.
The important theme of climate change is specifically included so that the venerated wisdom accumulated by Austronesian ancestors can combat challenges brought about by modernization and protect the environment.
Minister Amenta Matthew emphasized that since 1998 bilateral exchanges between both peoples have been close and unique, due to the shared principles of democracy and freedom, as well as the shared Austronesian heritage between Taiwan and the Marshall Islands.
Minister Amenta also conveyed her commitment to working closely with CIP and to promoting the preservation of the Austronesian culture, a positive direction which will strengthen the already substantial exchanges. Minister Icyang further pointed out that this agreement was approved by the Executive Yuan end of last year.
The Agreement for Cooperation on Austronesian Peoples Cultural Affairs is the first bilateral agreement for cooperation signed with other Pacific countries that share Austronesian culture since the establishment of CIP. It is also the first bilateral agreement for cooperation on Austronesian Peoples cultural affairs since the activation of the Austronesian Forum.
Both Minister Icyang & Minister Amenta emphasized shared goals and vision: to implement the contents of the agreement, and jointly promote the many cooperation projects of the Austronesian Forum and to facilitate sustainable development of the circle of Austronesian culture.