September 9, 2022—This morning at the CIP, Minister Icyang‧Parod led top officials to receive the Prime Minister of Tuvalu, Kausea Natano, his wife, and the visiting delegation. The bilateral meeting opened with a traditional cultural performance, with discussion topics including the current status and policies of Taiwan’s indigenous peoples and the future development of the Austronesian Forum.
According to the CIP, in his speech at the military welcoming ceremony with President Tsai Ing-Wen on the 5th, the Tuvaluan Prime Minister made special mention of the shared traditional cultural values and customs of Taiwan’s indigenous groups and the people of Tuvalu, and praised the President and the Taiwanese government for their staunch support of indigenous peoples. Because of this, he took the initiative and visited the CIP before his departure to show his support and concern for Taiwanese indigenous affairs in action. As this is the Prime Minister’s first visit to Taiwan and the CIP since his inauguration in September 2019, the CIP has presented him with the gift of an Atayal woven fabric pendant—as a gesture of warm welcome that symbolizes the continuous, interweaving, mutual friendship between peoples. In addition, Minister Icyang personally placed an Amis shoulder bag (alofo), which symbolizes blessings, on Prime Minister Natano in hopes that he will personally participate in the traditional Amis sacrificial rites.
The full text of Minister Icyang’s speech is as follows:
I would like to wish all our distinguished guests a good morning. Talofa (Tuvaluan greeting, pronounced as “Da Lo Fa”)! Nga 'ay ho!
I am honored that Prime Minister Natano took time out of his busy schedule and arranged a visit to the CIP before leaving Taiwan. I would like to extend my welcome to all of you on behalf of the CIP and the indigenous peoples of this land.
In July of 2017, I received Prime Minister Natano at the CIP when he was then a member of the Parliament. So today is the second time that the Prime Minister has visited the CIP.
I would like to thank the Prime Minister for his special mention of the shared traditional cultural values and customs of Taiwan’s indigenous groups and the people of Tuvalu in his speech at the welcoming military ceremony with President Tsai, as these commonalities are the cornerstone of our bilateral friendship.
To preserve the precious Austronesian culture that we share with the islands of the Pacific region, the CIP relaunched the standing organization of the Austronesian Forum on August 1, 2018—which is Taiwan’s Indigenous Peoples Day—with the support of President Tsai Ing-Wen and the Executive Yuan, and with Tuvalu as a formal member.
In the past, with the assistance of former Ambassador Limasene Teatu and current Ambassador Bikenibeu Paeniu, we have embarked on many projects together with Tuvalu, including inviting Tuvaluan craftsmen to Taiwan for exchange and experience-sharing and encouraging Tuvaluan students in Taiwan to participate in training programs. We hope to deepen our mutual understanding and cooperation through such meetings, plans, and events. At a later date, we will also provide a detailed briefing on the Austronesian Forum and the six-year plan.
Finally, I would like to thank the Prime Minister and your delegation once again for coming to the CIP. I look forward to continuing dialogue and collaboration between us in the future. I also wish you all a safe and smooth flight back to Tuvalu. Thank you! Aray han kamo!