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CY Members Attend 23rd FIO Annual Confab

  • PostDate:2018-12-04

Control Yuan Members Jane Y. W. Chiang and Bao Tzong-ho attended the 23th annual conference of the Federación Iberoamericana del Ombudsman (FIO) held in Andorra Nov. 20-22, 2018. They engaged in exchanges of views with the other participants on the theme of this year’s conference -- the right of habitation. One of the topics of discussion was the 11th goal of the UN Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development, namely to “make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.” Participants included 75 ombudsmen from 22 countries, such as Andorra, Portugal, Spain, as well as several Latin American nations.
Dr. Chiang and Dr. Bao shared three CY investigation cases related to the right of habitation, including with respect to a project to remove dangerously shabby buildings so as to create a safer community in the New Caoya area in Kaohsiung, a program to find temporary homes for children deprived of their original family environment, and a CY campaign promoting the rights of habitation/residence for new immigrants to merge into Taiwan’s society.
On the first day, the FIO also held a working group meeting on the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex people (LGBTI). A national-level report headed by CY Vice President Sun Ta-chun on the issue of the long neglect of LBGTI rights in Taiwan over past years was also brought up during the meeting. The CY members handed out copies of the Spanish translations of the report and aforementioned investigation cases, which received a significant response from the participants; for instance, FIO Secretary General Carmen Comas-Mata Mira proposed signing a memorandum of understanding or cooperation agreement with the Control Yuan in order to increase the Asian point of view in the FIO and to share human rights-related work experience between the two sides.
In addition to engaging in discussions with the participating ombudsmen from various countries, the CY delegates also exchanged views with representatives of various related international organizations and governmental human rights agencies, such as Dr. Joan Clos, former Executive Director of the United Nations Human Settlements Program (UN-Habitat); Ms. Soledad García Muñoz, Special Rapporteur on Economic, Social, Cultural, and Environmental Rights for the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR); and Professor Guillermo Escobar Rocaas of the University of Alcalá in Madrid, Spain. The CY delegates also introduced the Control Yuan’s various powers and responsibilities, as well as shared its experience in carrying out related work.
At the international conference on Nov. 21, FIO Chairperson, Paraguayan Vice Ombudsman Carlos Vera Bordaberry Zalazar, and the participating IACHR representative all mentioned Taiwan’s contributions in their speeches. For example, Zalazar noted Taiwan’s assistance in building social housing, Che Tapýi, in a remote rural area in Paraguay.
In addition to attending the annual FIO conference, the CY delegates also visited the Taipei Representative Office in France, and the Institut Montaigne in Paris, engaging in discussions with think tank scholars Mathieu Duchatel and Francoise Mengin on various topics, such as Taiwan-France-mainland China relations, and the recent referendums held in Taiwan. They also met with members of the overseas Taiwanese community in Paris and later in Barcelona in order to gain a better understanding of the current situation regarding Taiwan’s trade, foreign relations, overseas compatriot, cultural and other related work in France and Spain.