By Ko Lin
The 2015 International Austronesian Conference saw the participation of President Ma Ying-jeou Thursday morning as he showed off his greetings in Taiwan’s 15 existing Formosan languages, reports said Thursday.
In order to promote the political, social, economic and cultural development of the Austronesian people, the IAC has been held annually since 2003, inviting researchers in the field of Austronesian research to discuss related issues, including the regional social development, the inheritance of knowledge, education and culture, natural ecology and traditional territories, economic development, tourism and cultural industries.
According to Ma, the government has since sealed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with New Zealand on economic cooperation in 2013, an exchange that also includes the strengthening of ties between the Maoris and Taiwan’s aboriginal groups.
“Indigenous cultures add to the diversity and competitiveness of a nation,” Ma said.
“With the status of indigenous tribes first recognized by the ROC Constitution in 1991, Taiwan has come a long way in ensuring the development of such communities on the basis of social equality.”
Organized by the Council of Indigenous Peoples, the IAC expects to build the dialogue platform of Austronesian discourses as the basis to promote continuous efforts to present the international features of cultural and biological diversity of indigenous peoples.
“This year, we intend to propose analysis and discourses regarding ‘Territorial Governance and Cultural Heritage’ along with other topics associated with the modern development of indigenous peoples,” organizers said Thursday, adding that it hopes to promote the awareness on issues pertaining to Austronesian peoples.