Taiwan, US, Japan stage GCTF Austronesian forum in Palau

The International Austronesian Languages Revitalization Forum staged under the Taiwan-U.S. Global Cooperation and Training Framework wrapped up Sept. 29 in Koror, Palau.
Organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Cabinet-level Council of Indigenous Peoples, American Institute in Taiwan and Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association, the daylong event underscores the commitment of the like-minded partners to promoting and protecting indigenous languages, as well as improving the lives of speakers.
Around 120 academics, officials and representatives from 11 Indo-Pacific countries attended the forum. These include Queen Bilung Gloria Salii, former President Johnson Toribiong of Palau and Amy J. Hyatt, U.S. ambassador to Palau.
CIP Minister Icyang Parod said during his opening remarks that the event is in line with a U.N. General Assembly resolution declaring 2019 as the International Year of Indigenous Languages.
About 40 percent of the estimated 6,700 languages spoken around the world are in danger of disappearing, Icyang Parod said. By spotlighting this pressing issue, the forum serves as a valuable platform for sharing experiences, as well as cross-border collaboration on best practices and policymaking, he added.
According to Icyang Parod, the government is making real progress in safeguarding Taiwan’s indigenous languages for future generations. He cited the enactment of the Indigenous Languages Development Act, the annual Austronesia Forum promoting the cultural, economic, political and social development of aboriginals and a planned foundation for linguistic research and preservation.
The workshop is the 21st staged by Taiwan and the U.S. since the launch of the GCTF in June 2015, and the first held in a third country. More than 400 experts and officials from over 35 countries have taken part in GCTF events on topics such as cyber security, digital economy, law enforcement, public health and women’s empowerment. (SFC-E)
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