Hosted by the governing DPP (Democratic Progressive Party) under the theme “The Future of Democracy in Asia” Liberal International sent a large delegation to join in the celebrations for the 30th anniversary of the CALD group and to support the Taiwanese colleagues.
In this region they are facing growing illiberalism and authoritarianism. The heightened tensions in the South China Sea and the East China Sea have brought not the End of History but the beginning of a new era of competition. Democracies are being tested for their unity and the strength of their convictions.
“We are faced with the rise of authoritarianism and must respond to increased tensions, we can work together as societies and countries that are bound by shared values and interests” that was the message from Taiwan’s Vice-President and 2024 presidential candidate, Lai Ching-Te, as he addressed the 30th anniversary congress of CALD. “This is our greatest strength and it is also the reason democracies will prevail”, he added. “we not only commemorate those past 30 years, but also present a roadmap for the future, with peace as the lighthouse and democracy as our compass, we will work together to bring a better future for people across this region”.
Taiwan Vice president Lai Ching-e, along with other representatives and partners signed the Joint Declaration on the Current State and Future of Democracy in Asia. One of the partners was our president Jayanthi Devi Balaguru for INLW.Continue reading
On Tuesday evening, August 29, 2023, the annual dinner of LVN and INLW took place in Rotterdam. It was another animated evening.
This time we had as our guests, Minister for Foreign Trade, Liesje Schreinemacher and
Group Leader in the European Parliament, Malik Azmani.
It was a packed room with more than 40 ladies and a few gentlemen who were able to get to know these two VVD politicians.
Minister Schreinemacher explained about her work and that foreign trade may seem far away, but it has a lot to do with the Netherlands as the Netherlands are an open trading country. A special time is also coming for her as a caretaker minister. We have to wait and see what she can do in the coming months until the elections.
After that the 22nd of November, with a new chamber, it will be very exciting to be able to make decisions and still get things done in the period of the negotiations of the parties that are trying to form a new government. It may take several months before a new government is installed and thus new ministers will be sworn in to take over her portfolio.
Before that, the minister, who has just become pregnant, will have been away on maternity leave for some time.
It also is a different world for Member of Parliament, Malik Azmani, now that the Dutch are all busy for the next elections in the Netherlands and therefore the European elections of next year in June 2024 have clearly faded into the background.
Azmani did admit to a question from one of the ladies that he would like to be the party leader for the VVD in the Euro parliament for another round.
The Asia-Pacific Liberal Women Association (APLW), which was founded by Amb. Maysing Yang, held its second general members meeting on November 20. At the meeting, the ceremony was held to present the first “Asia-Pacific Student Leaders Award.” In addition, Robert Hsing-cheng Tsao, former chairman of United Microelectronics Corporation, was invited to deliver a special guest lecture, titled “Land of the free, home of the brave.” Several candidates in the upcoming local elections addressed the meeting, including Taipei mayoral candidate Chen Shih-chung, incumbent Taipei city councilors Chien Shu-pei and Chen Hsien-wei, and city council candidates Chan Chin-chien and Wu Hsin-tai.
The APLW is the Asia-Pacific regional chapter of the International Network of Liberal Women (INLW). Headquartered in Taipei, the APLW is thus one of the few organizations with United Nations consultative status in Taiwan. Its members come from various nationalities and genders, and its founding goals are promotion of gender equality and enhancing women’s political participation. In addition, it advocates the principles of HeForShe, encouraging men to join the movement for equality and speak out for women. The APLW actively engages in and supports the Non-Governmental Organization Committee on the Status of Women (NGO CSW), working together with members of the women’s movement from around the world to promote gender equality and the status of women globally.
To promote the formation of talented young people, the APLW this year for the first time awarded the “Asia-Pacific Student Leaders Award” to nine outstanding students from different universities across Taiwan. Many of the awardees had been active since high school in various student organizations and publications, working on issues such as students’ rights and transitional justice on campuses; others had joined movements for human rights, gender equality, and the environment while at university. Many had already achieved substantial progress towards their various causes. For example, National Taiwan Normal University’s Michelle Hsu, herself just 18 this year, traveled the country to promote the constitutional amendment to lower the voting age to 18. National Taiwan University’s Tu Chun-Ching used management of a consumer cooperative to promote reforms. Shih Hsin University’s Yeh Po-ting created a student campaign in support of Hong Kong’s Anti-Extradition Movement. Tunghai University’s Tjuku Revuci and Chung Yang University’s Lîm Khiūn Chhin effectively used the media to document the Indigenous and Hakka cultures of their respective hometowns in Pingtung and Hsinchu.
The depth of understanding of the principles of freedom and equality and the dedication to putting them into practice of all of these outstanding youth is very moving. To encourage such excellent young people to continue their work to advance the vision of the APLW, each awardee received a scholarship of between NT$30,000-50,000.Continue reading
The Bonn Climate Conference (SB56) 6-16 June 2022 is to express purpose of beginning to take stock of where the world stands when it comes to implementing the Paris Climate Change Agreement.
We are in the midst of a climate emergency, which is causing human rights violations, destroying ecosystems and biodiversity, and drastically increasing inequality across the globe.
The Global Stocktake (GST) discuss about the outcomes of the UNFCCC Climate Change Conference in Glasgow and the IPCC reports on impacts input to the technical assessment. But also about the energy, agriculture, land, ecosystems and (ground) water scarcity.
Recommendations for SB56
After extensive deliberations in the past two weeks, Global Stocktake and parties agreed on:
Ensure and promote the human rights of millions of people around the world including the rights of Indigenous Peoples who are threatened by loss of food and water sources, displacement, and aggravated conflict over scarce natural resources associated with the climate crisis.
Food Security (Agriculture)
Recognizing the fundamental priority of safeguarding food security and ending hunger, and the particular vulnerabilities of food production systems to the adverse impacts of climate change by including agroecology and its value for food security, the climate, and biodiversity in the implementation and policies as highlighted by the IPCC Special Report on Climate Change and Land. Food security is already and will increasingly be affected by the climate crisis.
Invest in gender-transformative climate action and in biodiversity conservation measures and the importance of ensuring the integrity of all ecosystems including oceans, divest from fossil fuels and ensure that a healthy and sustainable environment is to the full enjoyment of human rights, including the rights to life, health, food, and water.
Just Transition and Decent Work
Promoting decent work by ratifying, funding, and enforcing ILO conventions on collective bargaining and freedom of association as well as on domestic workers and on the
elimination of violence and harassment. A just transition is central to ensuring socially just and equitable climate action as it is fundamentally about realizing the transition from a fossil-fueled economy to a fossil-free one in a fair and inclusive way for workers and in a manner that creates decent work conditions.
Ruth attended the SB56 KCI-6 meetings and workshops (KCI: Katowice Committee of Experts on the Effects of the Implementation of Response Measures) and the Global Stocktake SB56 meetings at the June Climate Conference in Bonn. They spoke about several urgent topics that could affect the rest of the world.
The IPCC reports have reaffirmed the urgency, with the devastating impacts on human life and biodiversity (including food security and land water scarcity) of exceeding 1.5°C, and the serious inadequacy of current mitigation pathways. In addition, the tragic Russian invasion of Ukraine, financed by fossil fuels, has highlighted the greater risks of our continued dependence on oil and gas.
This year’s UN annual climate conference in Bonn aims to lay the groundwork for success at COP27 (November 6-18, 2022) in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.
At COP27 in Egypt 6-18 November 2022, GST will primarily focus on implementation, and nations are expected to show how they will, through legislation, policies and programs, and throughout all jurisdictions and sectors, begin putting the Paris Agreement into practice in their home countries.
I, Ruth Richardson (INLW) will be working together with Women and Gender Constituency to ensure decisions reached do not come at the expense of ambition, climate change and of human rights, including the rights of Indigenous Peoples, but instead help enable meaningful action at COP27 in Sharm El-Sheik, Egypt, later this year.
Information about Women and Gender Constituency / Wedo
The Women and Gender Constituency (WGC) is one of the nine stakeholder groups of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Established in 2009 and granted full constituency status in 2011, the WGC consists of 33 women’s and environmental civil society organizations, who are working together to ensure that women’s voices are heard and their rights prioritized in the fight against
climate change. The Women and Gender Constituency, consisting of a broad variety of national and regional network organizations, represents hundreds and thousands of people across the globe, with advocates from over 90 countries.
CSW66 – APL / INLW
Parallel Event #2_12972
Gender Equality in Leadership and Economic Power
Parallel Event Description:
Join us as we celebrate path-breaking women in leadership and discuss the real challenges that remain for gender equality and economic power. While some places are seeing greater participation of women in leadership roles, significant barriers prevent more women from entering the same ranks. Many women experience “double workload” pre- and post-pandemic. What rules need to change to prevent this? How can the “standard career path” narrative be changed for greater fairness? What can organizations do to create better “family support” and provide opportunities for decision-making positions and economic power to more women?
The second session (CSW Event #12972) on March 18th, 9:00 pm EST, with the theme: “Gender Equality in Leadership and Economic Power”, was opened by Chairperson of the International Network of Liberal Women Jayanthi Balaguru, and moderated by this year’s event organizer Josephine Wu Vuylsteke.
In Chairperson Balaguru’s opening remarks, she reported on gender equality status in Asia and indicated that there is still a lot of work to be done to benefit the rights of women around the world.
The participants were President of East-West Center and Retired Army Major General Suzanne Puanani Vares-Lum, Chairperson of CALD Youth Democratic Party (DP) of Thailand Siripa Nan Intavichein, Director of Dept. of Women’s Affairs for Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) of Taiwan Chia Tien Hsu, and Shiuan Ru Wang, a member of the “Open Government National Action Plan Promotion Group” of Taiwan.
Suzanne Puanani Vares-Lum is the first female president of Hawaii’s East-West Center since its establishment 62 years ago. She mentioned that when she was young, she never imagined that she would one day hold a supervisory position that used to be held by men.
She also emphasized that for women to take care of work and family requires the cooperation of spouses and family members in domestic work. Therefore, “good men” are very important to promote gender equality. Chairperson Siripa Nan Intavichein shared that women in Thailand are currently engaged in politics, salary, employment, job opportunities, although even during the coronavirus epidemic, there was a gender gap between men and men. Director Chia Tien Hsu shared the development and challenges of gender equality in Taiwan in recent years.
The proportion of women in politics and government units in Taiwan ranks among the best in Asian countries. She also suggested that President Tsai Ing-wen’s election as Taiwan’s first female president was an important milestone for the development of Taiwan’s gender equality.
Delegate Shiuan Ru Wang is only 20 years old. When she was 16 years old, while she was still a high school student, she advocated for the reduction of one-time use tableware through online platforms and successfully influenced government policy.
Taiwan began to ban plastic straws as a result of her actions. It is impressive that young women can play a key role in major government policies. At the same time, they are more optimistic about the future development of gender equality.Continue reading
CSW66 – APLW / INLW
NGO CSW66 Parallel Event
2022 March 17, 9:00PM EST (March 18, 9:00AM/Taiwan Time)
Government Policy for Substantial Carbon Reduction
Parallel Event Description:
What kind of planet will we leave for the next generation? As the impacts of climate change become visible around the world, the need for action by world governments is becoming more urgent than ever. The pandemic created an additional crisis for decision makers, but it also offers opportunity for sweeping change. What are governments’ role in balancing economic recovery with environmental policy? Besides economic barriers, what barriers exist for governments to enact substantial change in carbon reduction — and how can they be overcome by citizen groups? We hope to discuss tools and strategies that can be used for the challenges ahead.
The first session (CSW Event) held on March 17th, with the theme: “Government Policy for Substantial Carbon Reduction“, was opened by Chairperson of Asia Pacific Liberal Women Association Maysing Chen and moderated by Dr. Ketty Chen, Vice President of Taiwan Democracy Foundation.
In her opening remarks, Chairperson Maysing Chen expressed that we are very honored to have such distinguished policy-makers and environmental protection advocates as speakers for this event. We sincerely hope through this event that both women and men will be inspired to preserve the richness of our planet for future generations.
The participants were U.S. Representative Ed Case from Hawaii, Taiwan’s Ambassador-at-Large for Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability
Dr. Eugene You-hsin Chien, former member of Parliament for the Democratic Party in Thailand
Dr. Monthip Sriratana-Tabucanon, and Barbara Finamore, former lawyer for the American NGO, Natural Resources Defense Council, and currently a senior visiting scholar at the University Energy Research Institute.
Congressman Ed Case pays special attention to the issue of climate change in the Asia-Pacific region, noting there are more than 200 climate change related bills proposed at the federal level. He mentioned that when undeveloped or developing countries suffer from the disasters brought about by climate change, the most direct victims are often disadvantaged children and women.
Ambassador Eugene Chien has devoted himself to environmental protection and sustainable development projects in recent years. He has been deeply engaged in education from primary schools, secondary schools, universities and business circles, but he also expects the Taiwanese government to keep up with the United Nations’ timetable and goals for sustainable development.
Dr. Monthip Sriratana-Tabucanon, former member of the Thai Democratic Party, focuses on climate change issues and serves as a director of many international sustainable development organizations. Lawyer Barbara Finamore pointed out that the problem of air pollution in the Asia-Pacific region is the key. 40% of the world’s air pollution comes from the Asia-Pacific region, 60% is from other regions, and China is particularly serious. Barbara is a well-known lawyer, focusing on environmental protection law and clean energy for more than 40 years.
All participants advocate that governments must work together with representatives of civil society and big business corporations to create substantial policy for meaningful carbon reduction around the globe.Continue reading
Young city council candidates speak at APLW spring gathering
(Taipei, March 12, 2022) The Asia-Pacific Liberal Women Association (APLW) held its annual spring gathering in Taipei on March 12. The event was attended by 38 members.
Angel Wu, APLW secretary general, presented the calendar of activities for the coming year. Apart from an upcoming parallel meeting at NGO CSW66 this week, scheduled events include documentary screenings, a workshop on disinformation, and promotional events in the north, center, and south of Taiwan.
Participants gave their full support to three young APLW members who are running for seats in the Taipei City Council elections in November. All standing for the Democratic Progressive Party, the candidates are Chien Shu-pei, Chen Hsien-wei, and James Chan.
Addressing the gathering, the three candidates spoke about the impact of the war in Ukraine on the political situation in Taiwan, the shift toward liberal politics and values among the Taiwanese people, and the needs and aspirations of Taipei citizens.
In her opening remarks, APLW Chairperson Maysing Yang made a special point to welcome the male members of the APLW. She reminded everyone that, since its inception, the APLW has encouraged men to contribute to the work of the organization, according to the ideals of the global “HeForShe” campaign.
Currently, the APLW has a total of 60 members, eight of whom are men. Members have distinguished backgrounds in a range of fields, including business (22%), government (18%), politics (15%), academia (13%), NGOs (13%), health care (7%), media (5%), and others.
Spring gatherings are popular events in Taiwan to celebrate the beginning of the lunar new year. Companies, government agencies, and other organizations hold the banquets to thank their partners, employees, members, and customers.
Committee on the Elimination of discrimination against women (CEDAW) about the shadow report “Women’s Rights beyond Neutrality: in Words and in Action”
The report reflects the concerns and questions of civil society regarding women’s rights in the Netherlands. You can find the full report on the website of the Dutch CEDAW-Network: