Cork City Council, with support from the Department of Foreign Affairs, is to run an innovative virtual Senior Chinese Officials Training Programme 2021 (#SCOTP21), an ambitious and wide-ranging celebration of Cork City’s friendship with our Sister City Shanghai and Partner Cities Hangzhou, Wuxi and Shenzhen.
As part of the Opening Ceremony on Tuesday 8th June 2021, Chinese officials will hear from a range of very special guests including An Taoiseach, Mr. Micheál Martin T.D., Minister for Foreign Affairs & Minister for Defence, Mr Simon Coveney T.D. This will be followed by a conversation on the importance of Paradiplomacy in the context of Twinning Initiatives, its positive contribution to country-to-country ties and to the development of business relationships that require a foundation of confidence and trust. This conversation will be chaired by Mr. Pat Ledwidge, former Deputy Chief Executive, Cork City Council, in collaboration with H.E. Ambassador of China to Ireland Mr. He Xiangdong. H.E. Ms. Ann Derwin, Ambassador of Ireland to China will also address this conversation with a pre-recorded video message.
The Opening Ceremony will also see the joint launch of Cork City’s Official WeChat Account, by H.E. Ambassador of China to Ireland Mr. He Xiangdong and the Lord Mayor of Cork, Councillor Joe Kavanagh.
The Programme will culminate in a virtual Closing ceremony hosted by the Lord Mayor of Cork and Ireland's Consul General in Shanghai Ms. Wendy Dorman-Smith where Chinese participants will be presented with a scroll certificate of participation signed by the Lord Mayor of Cork. The Senior Chinese Officials will enjoy local produce from Cork City’s English Market at their homes during the ceremony on Friday June 25th.
Ann Doherty, Chief Executive of Cork City Council said, “We have re-imagined our long-established training programme for Senior Officials from our Chinese Partner Cities, having had to postpone last year’s programme due to Covid-19 and are particularly excited to elevate the re-imagined Senior Chinese Officials’ Training Programme to the highest possible level this year.
Cork City, being the first Irish City to twin with a Chinese city in 2005 is a pioneer city born in innovation and as the core economic engine in the south of Ireland, continually strives to evolve with impactful initiatives, delivered through an innovation-driven international relations development strategy, a critical component to forge ahead in international cooperation and exchanges with our Chinese partner cities. The people-based approach of Cork City's relationships with its Chinese partner cities has been identified and praised as globally unique by the Chinese Embassy in Ireland”.
The #SCOTP21 event series consist of 11 different Strands which are aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).: Health (3), Learning Cities (4), Culture (8), Enterprise & Economic Development (8), Female Participation in Municipal and Local Government(5), Climate Action (13), Commemorations(16), Research and Innovation (9), Smart Cities (9), The EU-China Relationship (17) and Tourism (8).