Diplomatic success does not necessarily correspond to the amount of money spent, and with “environmental diplomacy” Taiwan can shine on the international stage with a small budget, a number of local environmental groups said yesterday.
Earlier this month, 22 environmentalists represented Taiwan at the Global Greens (GG) 2008 conference in Brazil, a “UN for green organizations,” which drew representatives from 87 countries, Green Party Taiwan (GPT) secretary-general Pan Han-shen (潘翰聲) said.
The group was partially funded by the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA), Deputy Minister Chang Feng-teng (張豐藤) said, adding that the decision to sponsor the group was “one of the most meaningful things I have done since I have been in office.”
“Under oppression from China and control from the US, Taiwan’s space for survival in the international community is very limited, however we were able to attend the conference with full membership, a status that even China did not enjoy at GG 2008,” Pan said.
Instead of obsessing over the number of international allies and “dollar diplomacy,” the success of Taiwan’s international future lies in human rights and environmental diplomacy, Taiwan Wild at Heart Legal Defense Association director Robin Winkler said.
Using full membership, the representative group participated in environmental discussions, voted on green effort proposals, introduced to GG 2008’s other participating countries the political and environmental status of Taiwan, and showcased current environmental efforts with presentations of case studies, Pan said.
One of the representative group’s biggest accomplishments was its initiation of an anti-nuclear effort proposal, he said.
“During the meeting, three proposals were discussed and voted on, including support for human rights in Tibet, eliminating nuclear energy as an option to combat climate change and the request to immediately release kidnapped Colombian Green Party spiritual leader Ingrid Betancourt,” he said.
“Not only did we vote on the former two proposals, which concerned Taiwan, we initiated the anti-nuclear pitch with Japan, and received unanimous consensus from all 87 countries,” he said.
Such proposals give participating countries an idea of environmental trends in other areas in the world, and are brought back to their respective governments for references in forming related political strategies, he said.
In addition, “During the Global Young Greens (GYG) meeting, our youth representatives presented a case study of their anti-Suhua Freeway efforts,” he said.
“The presentation was one of the most well-prepared at GYG and won them thundering applause at the conference, which was another example that, with devotion, NGOs can help Taiwan shine internationally with little money,” he said.
Following the success of the conference, the group plans to campaign to host the Asia Pacific Greens Network meeting next year, Pan said.
“Even in an age where technological advancement seems to connect people around the globe more tightly, such face-to-face interactions and discussions cannot be replaced by artificial meetings,” Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Tien Chiu-chin (田秋堇) said.
Friendly relationships have developed during Taiwan’s participation in such international events and could eventually transform into friendly relationships for the country with other nations, she said.
“Even China cannot disagree with us on environmental diplomacy; with universal values such as human rights and environmental protection, the road we travel on — no matter how few companions we have in the beginning — is bound to connect us with more and more allies,” she said.
A domestically developed “suicide drone,” also known as a loitering munition, would be tested and evaluated in July, and could enter mass production next year, Taiwan’s weapons developer said on Wednesday. The yet-to-be-named drone was among nine drone models unveiled by the National Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology (NCSIST) on Tuesday. The drone has been dubbed the “Taiwanese switchblade” by Chinese-language media, due to its similarity to the US-made AeroVironment Switchblade 300, which has been used by Ukraine in counterattacks during Russia’s invasion. It has a range of more than 10km, a flight time of more than 15 minutes, and an electro-optical
GOOD INFLUENCE: Kwan said his mother tutored him at home for a few years, saying that she had to protect his ‘creativity’ as his writing had suffered Director and coproducer of the Oscar-winning absurdist comedy-drama Everything Everywhere All at Once Daniel Kwan (關家永) on Sunday dedicated the movie to his Taiwanese mother, who he said supported his creativity growing up. “She is someone who sacrificed a lot for her kids,” Kwan, 35, said backstage at the Oscars. The movie, released early last year, received a commanding 11 nominations at the Academy Awards, and won seven, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Original Screenplay and Best Film Editing. Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, with whom he also directed the 2016 fantasy film Swiss Army
A bipartisan US congressional delegation arrived in Taiwan yesterday on a two-day visit that is to include meetings with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and other senior government officials, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. The delegation comprises Republican US representatives and Chairman of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee Ken Calvert, Tom Cole, Dave Joyce and Mike Garcia, as well as Democratic US Representative Ed Case, the ministry said in a news release. Upon their arrival at Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport), the five representatives were welcomed by North American Affairs Department Director-General Douglas Hsu (徐佑典), it said. During their visit, they are to meet
The Taipei City Government on Wednesday introduced of a series of tourism promotions, including free sightseeing bus tours and hotel discounts, in a bid to boost the number of international visitors. From now until June 30, 10,000 free Taipei Sightseeing Bus tickets are to be made available to travelers who stay in designated hotels for two nights, cruise passengers and European visitors transiting for more than 15 hours, the Taipei Department of Information and Tourism said. Eligible tourists can ask for the free four-hour unlimited ride bus tickets by presenting their passports at the hotels they stay in or from the