BY LYNTON AARON FILIA
ASPIRING young leaders across the Pacific islands countries on Wednesday celebrated their first alumni reunion of the Pacific Islands Leadership Programme (PILP) in Honiara.
The event convened young leaders from Papua New Guinea, Nauru, French Polynesia, Fiji, Vanuatu, Tuvalu and Solomon Islands including the PILP programme coordinators of the East West Centre institute in Hawaii.
The PILP is a joint effort between the Republic of China’s (Taiwan) Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the East West Centre.
The event on Wednesday night brought together PILP alumni with government officials and staff from Taiwan’s Embassy in celebration that gave way to opportunities, creating network, interact and promoting the programme.
Taiwan’s Ambassador to Solomon Islands, His Excellency (HE) Roger Luo said he was excited to see many PILP’s alumni coming from nine Pacific islands countries in Honiara for the reunion.
Mr Luo encourages the alumni to maintain close contacts with their peers, East West Centre and ROC (Taiwan), as the connection should expand their career and opportunities in the near future.
“I wish PILP programme will facilitate cordial cooperation links among our Pacific Allies, USA and Taiwan which could benefit the development of the pacific countries and their people.
“I am quite confident that our cordial relations will grow from strength to strength in years to come.”
The event also marks the convening for a four-day workshop for the PILP alumni in Honiara.
Prime Minister Rick Houenipwela welcomed the PILP alumni to Solomon Islands particularly visitors to Honiara for the first time.
PM Hou said a few days spent in Honiara and they will learn something and return home with new knowledge, understanding and insight including positive and lasting impressions and memories of Solomon Islands.
Hou commended the Taiwan Embassy for hosting the alumni programme.