Prepared by UPF Tuvalu
On 31 October 2017, Mr. Santosh Neupane, President of UPF Fiji, arrived in Funafuti, the capital of the tiny island nation of Tuvalu. Tuvalu is composed of several beautiful coral atolls, formerly known as the Ellis Islands, which has a mainly Polynesian population of around 10,000. It is located in the Pacific Ocean, close to the equator, north of Fiji and east of the Solomon Islands.
Upon arrival, Mr. Neupane first met with Rev Dr. Kitiona Tausi, a prominent religious leader and newly appointed President of UPF Tuvalu. Over the course of the next week together with Dr. Tausi visited and met with the Prime Minister, the Governor General, former Prime Ministers, the Speaker of the House of Parliament and other prominent leaders of the Tuvalu community. We explained about the upcoming inauguration of IAPP and distributed invitations for the IAPP launch, to be held in the Funafuti Lagoon Hotel.
We hold the inaugural event on November 6th, 2017 with the theme “Addressing the Critical Challenges of Our Time: The Role of IAPP in Tuvalu.”
Among the participants we had 21 prominent Tuvaluans, including three national level pastors, one member of parliament, one former Prime Minister, one former parliamentarian, Ambassadors for Peace, and business and government leaders including the CEO of the Tuvalu Development Bank. [There are fifteen members of parliament in the Tuvalu Parliament. At the time of the IAPP launch, the Prime Minister and a majority of parliamentarians were overseas attending the COP 23 in Bon Germany.]
The program began at 6pm with a welcoming message from the emcee Dr Tausi. Then there was a beautiful opening prayer from Rev Tofinga Falani, Vice President, Ekalesia Kelisiano Tuvalu, the main Christian church in Tuvalu.
This was followed by an introduction to the UPF and to the IAPP with its worldwide network of parliamentarians. Presentations were then given on “Family Values and World Peace” and “The Need to Educate for Character” by Greg Stone, Secretary-General UPF Oceania.
This was followed by the Official Launch of IAPP Tuvalu signified by the reading out and signing of the Inaugural Resolution. Three Ambassadors for Peace certificates were presented to Hon Samuelu P Teo, Member of Parliament, Rev Dr. Kitiona Tausi, and to Mr. Matanilee Iosefa who is a prominent businessman in Tuvalu.
We put forward the nomination of Hon Samuelu Teo to be the first President of IAPP Tuvalu and it was supported unanimously by all present. Hon Teo then made his acceptance speech on the theme “The Critical Issues Facing Tuvalu.” He highlighted the declining of youth morality and respect for elders together with the increasing secularization of education with its lack of focus on development of the character and morality of youth. He also spoke about the high rate of youth unemployment in Tuvalu which is currently around 40%. People particularly living on the main island of Funafuti, often have around 10 people living in a small dwelling with only one breadwinner.
This was followed by a presentation by Mr. Neupane, on the topic of “The Role of Purity, Morality and the New Leadership Paradigm: An Alternative Way of Nation Building.” Mr. Neupane, stressed the fundamental importance of filial piety as the foundational virtue absolutely necessary for building peace and prosperity in the nation. He also outlined the first major project of the IAPP in Tuvalu which is to bring two martial arts instructors to teach Tong Il Moo Do which focuses on teaching and practice of filial piety or hyo jong culture.
The event ended with dinner and informal discussion. Everyone was very impressed by the presentations and many people gave their commitment to support this exciting new initiative.