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Remarks at a Dinner in Celebration of 2014 World Freedom Day and the Annual Meeting of the World League for Freedom and Democracy

  • 發布單位:非政府組織國際事務會
  • 資料來源:非政府組織國際事務會

Remarks at a Dinner in Celebration of 2014 World Freedom Day and the Annual Meeting of the World League for Freedom and Democracy

 

David Y. L. Lin

Minister of Foreign Affairs

 

January 22, 2014

 

Chairman Yao, Members of the Diplomatic Corps, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen:

 

Good evening!

 

I am pleased to be here with you tonight to celebrate World Freedom Day and the Annual Meeting of the World League for Freedom and Democracy.

 

The Republic of China (ROC) Chapter is a founding member of the League. We have worked together with other League members since the days of the Cold War to defend the world’s democracies. We have much to show for our efforts. 

 

In recent years, under Chairman Yao’s leadership, the League has attended many meetings of NGOs under the auspices of such global organizations as the United Nations, and has engaged in dialogue with the world’s leading think tanks, becoming a key platform for sharing the ideals of freedom and democracy with the world. The organization has made many contributions and bolstered the ROC’s cooperation with the international community on issues pertaining to democracy. I thank the League, and Chairman Yao, for your efforts. 

 

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the League’s founding. This year’s annual meeting celebrates this fact, with its theme, “WLFD 60th Anniversary: New Era for Freedom and Democracy”; it is indeed a momentous occasion. For 60 years, the League has stood witness to the flowering of democracy in the Republic of China on Taiwan, as well as our nation’s efforts to promote the ideals espoused by democracies the world over. It is much like what President Ma Ying-jeou said in an address delivered on National Day of last year—

Along the path to democratization, [we must] continue reinforcing democratic beliefs and culture so as to build up civil society. When we established democracy, we learned as we went; now we need to put civil society into practice in a nation that is already democratic. In concrete terms, a mature civil society demonstrates high-quality democracy. That is to say, under the principle of constitutionalism, human rights are protected, the rule of law is thoroughly implemented, and the judiciary is independent and impartial, so civil society is able to thrive … Through dialogue, the citizenry and the government can jointly promote social progress [and] realize social reform.

 

Moreover, last year the US-based organization Freedom House released its 2013 Freedom in the World report. In this, Taiwan was given a score of 1—the highest rating—in political freedom, and a score of 2 in civil liberties. We ranked with the United States, Japan, and nations in Western Europe as “Free” nations, and we were praised by Freedom House as a model democracy.

 

Today, we are working to continue strengthening democracy in our country, and to share our experiences with the rest of the world. The people of Taiwan can say to the world that, yes, democracy can grow and develop in an ethnic Chinese society, and we stand here as a beacon of hope for the 1.3 billion people of mainland China. This is something important for the world at large, but also for the government and people of the Republic of China.

 

As part of our policy concerning globalization, our government’s position has been to support people’s diplomacy, to leverage the influence of parliaments, private enterprises, and NGOs to help us come more into line with the international community and strengthen international dialogue and cooperation. I believe that under the leadership of Chairman Yao, the ROC Chapter of the World League for Freedom and Democracy can play a more active role in promoting cooperation among the world’s nations on freedom and democracy. At the same time, I call on our friends who have joined us tonight from nations the world over to promote exchanges and cooperation between your countries and mine as, together, we promote democratic values. 

 

In closing, let me again thank all of you for attending tonight’s activities. May the League long prosper, may this Annual Meeting be a great success, and may all of you enjoy the best of health.

 

Thank you!