French human rights envoy to visit nation

NIGHT OF IDEAS::One stop on Francois Croquette’s visit is to be the second edition of La Nuit des Idees, a global event in which specialists discuss contemporary issues

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Sun, Jan 27, 2019 - Page 1

French Ambassador-at-large for Human Rights Francois Croquette is next week to visit Taiwan for the first time to exchange opinions with government officials and members of civil society, the French Office in Taipei announced.

Croquette is scheduled to arrive in Taiwan on Tuesday for a four-day visit, during which he is to meet with officials at various government agencies and representatives from civil society to share France’s experiences in human rights and explore cooperation on several issues, the office said.

Issues to be discussed include equality, women’s participation in politics, threats to democratic institutions and abolishing the death penalty, the Central News Agency said.

One focus of Croquette’s visit would be the second edition in Taiwan of La Nuit des Idees, or “the Night of Ideas,” which is to be held at Taiwan Contemporary Culture Lab in Taipei on Thursday evening.

The event, initiated by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2016, is held in cities worldwide on the last Thursday of January, when specialists from various fields are invited to discuss contemporary issues and phenomena.

About 100 cities are to join the Night of Ideas initiative this year, including several Asian cities such as Tokyo, Seoul, Hong Kong, Bangkok and Jakarta, the office said.

The central theme for this year is “Facing Our Time,” but the Taiwan edition is to focus on “facing waves of digital transformation” and would invite participants to discuss how to protect free space in the Internet era while upholding the spirit of democracy, the office said.

According to the event’s schedule, Croquette is to lead a discussion on human rights education in the digital age.

Other scheduled participants include French lawmaker Paula Forteza, French Office in Taipei Director Benoit Guidee, Paris-based music research institute IRCAM director Frank Madlener, Minister of Culture Cheng Li-chiun (鄭麗君) and Minister Without Portfolio Audrey Tang (唐鳳).