Taipei, Taiwan's representative at the 2018 Austronesian Forum was elected as chairman of the forum's executive committee in an unanimous vote Wednesday, according to a press release issued by the Council of Indigenous Peoples (CIP).
At a round table meeting after the opening ceremony in Taipei, CIP head Icyang Parod was nominated by the Nauru delegate and elected unopposed by the other delegates as chairman of the executive committee, the decision-making body of the forum, the CIP said.
Apart from electing a chairman, the members of the forum discussed amendments to the charter, work plans and objectives, according to the press release, which cited Icyang.
Some of the first items on the agenda will be the preservation of traditional wisdom, language exchanges and cooperation, Icyang said in the press release.
The round table meeting at the Grand Hotel also discussed plans for setting up the forum's headquarters and secretariat in 2019, Icyang said.
On Thursday, the forum will move to National Central Library in Taipei and the discussions will focus on topics ranging from re-creation of indigenous cultures to the development of mother tongues, the CIP said.
The participating countries are Taiwan, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, the Solomon Islands, Nauru, Tuvalu, Palau, New Zealand, the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia, as well as the United States territory of Guam and the U.S. state of Hawaii.
The Austronesian Forum, a platform for exchanges of Austronesian cultures, originated from the Assembly of Austronesian Leaders, which the CIP organized in 2002, and the annual International Austronesian Conference.
The conferences invite researchers in the field of Austronesian studies to discuss regional social developments, the inheritance of knowledge, education and culture, natural ecology, traditional territories and economic development, as well as tourism and cultural industries in the region.
In 2008, the permanent headquarters of the forum was set up in Palau, under Icyang's initiation, and its secretariat in Taipei. However, the forum was suspended after the a change of government in Taiwan that year and is now being held for the first time since then.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel