Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) yesterday spoke of the goals and vision of the soon-to-be established Democratic Pacific Union (DPU), and expressed confidence that the union would help secure the long-term stability of the Pacific region.
The DPU, which is Lu's brainchild, aims to serve as a platform for personnel and resource exchanges around the Pacific Rim and to promote democracy, ensure peace and spread prosperity.
"Without democracy, there can be no peace. Without democracy and peace, there can be no prosperity ... the three will be the core values of the DPU," she said.
Lu made the remarks yesterday in a speech via teleconference to participants attending an Asia-Pacific regional meeting in Tokyo.
While the Pacific region includes the fastest-growing economies in the world, there are still remnants of conflict from the Cold War era, Lu said. Major issues such as North Korea's nuclear ambitions and Chinese aggression continue to threaten both regional and global stability, she said.
"The development of a regional, cross-Pacific organization to promote the values of democracy, peace and prosperity is therefore not only an urgent matter for today, but also important in terms of helping secure long-term global stability," Lu said.
The DPU will be officially established in Taipei on Aug. 14, which will coincide with the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II. Leaders from the political, academic and civic fields from more than 20 countries will attend the organization's inauguration, Lu said.
"It's not easy to establish a regional organization," she said."It is especially [difficult] for Taiwan to be the host country given its limited diplomatic allies, and the threats it faces from an abominable neighbor, China."
"Yet we brave the hardships and through our efforts we hope to let all nations in the Pacific Rim come to identify with the ideals of a democratic Pacific," Lu said.
Noting that "it is rather significant the meeting could be held in Japan, which does not have formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan," Lu expressed gratitude to the Japan-Taiwan Parliamentary Amity Association, which helped organize the event in Tokyo.
She said each member country would have three representatives.
The DPU International Secretariat is planning to establish three institutes, Lu said -- the Institute for Democracy, the Institute for Peace and the Institute for Prosperity -- as well as centers for women's development, marine development and disaster prevention.
Yesterday's meeting was attended by more than 100 delegates from Taiwan, South Korea, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand and Australia.