Taiwan plans to hold a regional forum on securing religious freedom next year, Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) told the third Ministerial to Advance Freedom of Religion or Belief in a recorded speech on Monday.
First launched by the US Department of State in 2018, the ministerial was held in Washington in 2018 and last year, while this year’s was hosted online by the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Department of North American Affairs Director-General Douglas Hsu (徐佑典) told a news conference in Taipei yesterday.
Taiwan has been invited to the ministerial in all three years, Hsu said.
Monday’s ministerial was opened by Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs Zbigniew Rau and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the schedule on the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs Web site showed.
Yesterday’s session for non-governmental organizations was opened by Polish Secretary of State for Legal and Treaty Affairs, the UN, Consular and Parliamentary Affairs Piotr Wawrzyk and US Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Samuel Brownback, it showed.
“While many countries have been occupied fighting COVID-19, authoritarian regimes have used the opportunity to impose their will on religious minorities,” Wu said in his speech, referring to the displacement, physical abuse and emotional torture experienced in Xinjiang by Uighurs and other Muslims.
“Here in Taiwan, religious freedom is enshrined in our Constitution and has become part of our daily life,” he said, adding that Taiwan stands with like-minded partners to defend the freedom to believe and to help victims of intolerance.
At the end of his speech, Wu announced the ministry’s plan to host a regional forum on securing religious freedom next year, saying it is “to show that we care about what is happening in other parts of the world.”
Ambassador-at-Large for Religious Freedom Pusin Tali also attended the online ministerial, while Representative to the US Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) gave a speech at the International Religious Freedom Roundtable yesterday, Hsu said.
In related news, the Mainland Affairs Council on Monday announced that it has commissioned the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy to cohost with the US Heritage Foundation an online forum today titled “US-Taiwan Partnership in Challenging Times.”
Mainland Affairs Council Minister Chen Ming-tong (陳明通) is to deliver a speech at the forum calling for peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, the council said.
Typhoon Chanthu could make landfall as far north as Yilan or Hualien counties late tomorrow night, the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) said yesterday, adding that a land alert could be issued this afternoon or tomorrow morning. The bureau also said that it could possibly issue a sea alert late last night or early this morning. As of 2pm yesterday, Chanthu was 960km southeast of Pingtung County’s Oluanpi (鵝鑾鼻). It was moving northwest at 15kph, but was projected to shift northward as it approached the Taiwan Strait due to a weakening Pacific high-pressure system, the bureau said. The bureau is closely monitoring the typhoon,
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