Human rights and science committees to be disbanded

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

Thu, May 18, 2006 - Page 3

Two non-institutional bodies set up under the Presidential Office will be disbanded tomorrow, President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) announced yesterday.

The Human Rights Advisory Committee and the Science and Technology Advisory Committee, both chaired by Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮), will stop functioning to show the Presidential Office's respect for the legislature, as well as its sincerity in maintaining a harmonious relationship with opposition parties, Chen said.

However, the Presidential Office would continue to solicit the opinions of committee members whenever their expertise is required, Chen said at the Presidential Office, where the two committees' 39 members attended a farewell lunch hosted by Chen and Lu yesterday afternoon.


The Legislative Yuan passed a resolution in January requesting that six non-institutional bodies set up under the Presidential Office be dissolved.

They are the Human Rights Advisory Committee, the Science and Technology Advisory Committee, the preparatory group for the national human rights memorial museum, the Gender Mainstreaming Advisory Panel, the Constitutional Re-engineering Office and the Youth Corps.

Lu had previously argued that the Presidential Office was authorized to form the Human Rights Advisory Committee under the Standard Organic Law of Central Government Agencies (中央政府機關組織基準法), and that it had been unnecessary to enact more legislation to do so.

She also argued that no additional legislation had been needed for the establishment of the Science and Technology Advisory Committee, because Chen in August 2000 approved an administrative decree authorizing its creation.

Lu yesterday said that, despite claims that the committee wasted taxpayers' money, all of the committee members had provided their services free of charge.

Looking ahead

She said that although the two committees would soon stop functioning, this marked the beginning of another stage.

"There is still a long way to go before we put into practice the president's promise of improving the country based on human rights and technology," she said.

"Technology is developing at a breakneck speed. We may be the hare in the race today, but the turtle may be gradually catching up if we slack off," Lu said.

The two committees' coordinators, Fort Liao (廖福特) and Chen Wei-chao (陳維昭), yesterday each presented a book to the president.

The books, Building the Nation on Human Rights and Building the Nation on Technology, chronicle the two committees' achievements since their formation.

The Human Rights Advisory Committee was established in October 2000, and the Science and Technology Advisory Committee in November 2000.