The Pacific University League, Vice President Annette Lu's (
The league, a DPU initiative, will enable 41 regional colleges and universities to engage in various exchange programs.
Founded by Lu in August 2005, the DPU consists of 28 democratic countries from the Asia-Pacific region and aims to promote democracy, peace and prosperity worldwide. About 100 guests from 33 countries are expected to attend the organization's two-day convention.
Lu told the opening ceremony yesterday that the main purpose of the gathering was to consolidate the network of universities in the Pacific region and to enhance cooperation among them.
In addition to facilitating exchanges among league members, Lu said she hoped the league would educate the next generation about "global citizenship" and foster awareness of the inequities and imbalances caused by globalization.
She also said she hoped the league would promote fundamental values such as respect for human rights, love for peace and commitment to democratic reform.
"The Pacific University League can serve as the cradle of our future leaders and cultivate `soft power' with a global vision," she said. "By working together, we can usher in a new era of democracy, peace and prosperity in the Pacific region."
League members issued a joint declaration to dedicate themselves to contributing to the ideals of the DPU and to enriching civilization in the Pacific in terms of humanism and technology.
Meanwhile, representatives of DPU members approved a motion filed by Chilean Congressman Maximiano Errazuriz, condemning Costa Rica's switching of diplomatic ties to China, which offered US$430 million (NT$13 million) to San Jose in exchange for its allegiance.
"The Costa Rican government established diplomatic ties with China on June 5 without any warning," he said. "Diplomatic relations cannot be exchanged for personal reasons, even by a head of state, as this affects a country's diplomatic allies."
Errazuriz proposed that the DPU express strong opposition to the move, voice regret over Costa Rica's switching allegiance to China for monetary reasons and declare support for the Taiwanese government, parliament and its people.
A proposal by Indonesian delegates to establish a "Taiwan friendship group" in their parliament was also well received.
DPU representatives re-elected Lu as chairperson and welcomed five new member states: Colombia, Ecuador, Nauru, Thailand and India.
Eleven member states were elected as permanent board directors: Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, Canada, Mexico, Chile, Nicaragua, Paraguay, the Marshall Islands and New Zealand.