On November 23, 2020, ambassadors and representatives to Taiwan from Austronesian Forum members gathered in Taipei for the 2020 Executive Council Meeting. The meeting was chaired by Chairperson Icyang of the Executive Council. Delegates to the meeting all highly approved of the results the Forum has achieved in various working projects, and confirmed that the Forum general assembly will be held at the Republic of the Marshall Islands in the second half of next year.
Chairperson Icyang stated that the Austronesian Forum is an international organization originally initiated and established by Taiwan. It was jointly reactivated by 12 countries in the Pacific region on August 1, 2018, the Indigenous Peoples' Day, with the Headquarters Office activated in the Republic of Palau on September 30, 2019. Routine Executive Council meetings are convened annually. Originally planned for June in Hawaii, due to COVID-19, the Executive Council meeting was instead held in Taiwan this year on a smaller scale to comply with disease control measures.
Chairperson Icyang pointed out that many important projects were completed in the last year with the joint effort of various members. For example, the 2019 International Indigenous Economic Development Forum held in Taoyuan last December. 29 speakers from 9 countries were invited to exchange experiences and join hands in improving the competitiveness of Austronesian industries. In addition, the 2020 Cultivation Program of Young Talents for International Affairs held this July in Saviki Village, Alishan Township, Chiayi County, was participated by 29 trainees from Taiwan and 12 members in the Austronesian region, in which everyone engaged in-depth exchange and empowerment of Austronesian young talents.
Chairperson Icyang further mentioned that three countries attended the Executive Council meeting for the first time this year, including Papua New Guinea, Australia and Canada. Among which, Papua New Guinea has already applied formally to join the Forum as an official member.