In response to President Tsai’s statement on “Taiwan should be the role model of international citizens, fulfill our responsibility as member of Earth, and make concrete contributions on diplomatic and global issues”, the MOFA Department of NGO International Affairs has annually carried out various training projects in order to enhance the responsive capacity and international participation of domestic NGOs and youth & students on global issues and public affairs. These projects include:
International Youth Ambassador Exchange Project
MOFA has carried out the “International Youth Ambassador Exchange Project” since 2009 by selecting outstanding university students as youth ambassadors in visiting nations Taiwan has diplomatic relations with and other friendly nations to demonstrate the energy and creativity of young Taiwanese people. They are capable of introducing the Republic of China from the perspective of a new generation of youth and present Taiwan’s aggressive role in international society. With the major agenda of “New Taiwan Generation - New Southbound Vision” in 2017, this project has selected 75 Taiwanese university students as youth ambassadors who were sent to visit the 6 nations of the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, India, and Singapore (which were all focuses of the New Southbound Policy) in 3 groups from August 28 to September 6. With 4 major activities such as interactive learning, volunteer services, visiting and cultural diplomacy, along with a small but detailed art performance, they can effectively promote the outstanding soft power of Taiwan.
Carrying Out “NGO International Affair Talent Training Sessions”
Staring from 2004, MOFA has authorized domestic professional institutes to hold training sessions on contemporary social issues annually in order to assist trainees in understanding current international mainstream issues, the current status and prospects for domestic NGOs in participating in international exchanges, and the connection between NGOs and diplomatic operations. In coordination with the government’s “New Southbound Policy” and President Tsai’s instruction on encouraging NGO groups to expand their cooperation with New Southbound Nations in order to establish multi-layer and versatile civil interactive networks, seminars with the topic “Re-establish New Southbound Partnerships with NGO Action Capacity” and “SDGs × New Southbound Sustainable Development” under the focus of “NGO Action: New Partnership with New Southbound Nations” were carried out in Taipei and Taichung separately on August 5 and 6 and August 26 and 27 of 2017. These training sessions helped Taiwanese society in understanding contemporary international mainstream issues and enhanced their capacity and interest in taking part in international affairs.
Project on Selecting and Sending Domestic NGO Executives Abroad for Training
In order to assist domestic NGOs with taking part in international affairs and training international affair talents in building up their capacity, the MOFA Department of NGO International Affairs has cooperated with overseas universities such as the University of Portland and LSE from 2005 in carrying out the project on sending NGO executives abroad for training. Starting from 2010, its rules were changed so that trainees will select institutions they intend to carry out their internship with and file an application to MOFA after receiving the acceptance of their target INGO to suit the individual needs of different NGOs. MOFA will then evaluate the applicants publicly and subsidize related expenditures. From 2011 to 2016, more than 40 NGO executives were selected and sent overseas to carry out an internship with foreign INGOs. In 2017, this project selected and sent 6 important NGO executives to carry out internships in the Philippines, Nepal, Germany, Canada and Kenya from July to September in allowing them to gear up with INGOs of different fields and seize the opportunity to demonstrate the outstanding soft power of Taiwan to international society.