September 9, 2020
The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), the Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association, and Guatemala
Host Inaugural Western Hemisphere Virtual Global Cooperation and Training Framework (vGCTF)
On September 9, 2020, The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), the Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association, and the Government of Guatemala hosted the first in a series of expert exchanges focused on the Western Hemisphere under the Global Cooperation and Training Framework (GCTF). Today’s webinar focused on helping countries deploy digital tools to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Other virtual events in this series will also related to aspects of the digital economy.
U.S. Department of State Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Julie Chung, Guatemalan Foreign Minister Pedro Brolo, Taiwan Vice Foreign Minister Miguel Tsao, and Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association Chief Representative Hiroyasu Izumi all offered opening remarks to kick off the event. During the webinar, experts from Taiwan, Japan and Canada discussed a range of topics, including: the use of technology to overcome workplace challenges posed by the pandemic; the power of data to build resilience to global epidemic threats; and the use of artificial intelligence to limit the spread of the disease. Taiwan Digital Minister Audrey Tang and BlueDot CEO Dr. Kamran Khan both participated in the event, which involved 206 professionals from 25 countries via web connection.
The GCTF aims to expand Taiwan’s international engagement by providing opportunities for Taiwan’s expert practitioners to share their experience and expertise with counterparts across the region and around the world. These workshops build the capacity of participants in areas such as public health, women’s empowerment, media literacy, and the digital economy. More than 700 policymakers and experts from 39 countries have participated since AIT and Taiwan’s MOFA launched the GCTF platform in 2015. This webinar was the first GCTF program focused on the Western Hemisphere, and will leverage digital platforms to reach participants in Latin American and Caribbean. Once public health conditions allow, partners plan to hold an in-person GCTF workshop in Guatemala.
During the webinar’s concluding remarks, AIT Director Brent Christensen said, “As the pandemic continues to rage across the world, Taiwan can help develop new solutions to support frontline medical and other essential workers. Taiwan set the standard for transparency, by quickly and accurately communicating risks to the general public in a way that built trust and secured voluntary cooperation. The whole world has much to learn from Taiwan’s example. Though Taiwan is prevented from participating meaningfully in the WHO, the webinar you heard today is just one of many ways that Taiwan is sharing its expertise and showcasing that it is a force for good in the international community. The United States remains committed to expanding Taiwan’s international space.”
He continued, “Taiwan has demonstrated time and again that it is a reliable partner and a force for good in the world. We often describe the US-Taiwan relationship as ‘Real Friends, Real Progress,’ and I would like to take this opportunity to encourage all of our partners in the Western Hemisphere to continue to expand their own relationships with Taiwan, since I think we can all agree that ‘Taiwan can help.’”