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French Senate Delegation Visits Taiwan, Meets with CY President

  • PostDate:2021-10-15

On the morning of October 8, Control Yuan President and Chair of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Chu Chen received a delegation of French Senators led by Alain Richard, head of French Senate’s Taiwan Friendship Group. During their meeting, she remarked that Taiwan will continue to learn from France in the realm of human rights into the future, and that through cooperation and exchanges, human rights concepts will continue to be rooted in Taiwan society. Through such actions, she continued, Taiwan will strive to become a country that enjoys free speech and freedom from persecution like France.

President Chen first welcomed Senator Richard and the delegation members to Taiwan, noting that in May this year, Senator Richard had contributed significantly to the French Senate’s first resolution to support Taiwan’s participation in international organizations, which passed unopposed with 304 votes. She added that he has persisted in promoting Taiwan-France friendship despite pressure from Beijing.

During her first visit to France in 1987, President Chen continued, she visited the Bastille, the symbol of the French Revolution. The French spirit of “liberté, égalité, fraternité” played a profound part in inspiring her to agitate for democracy in Taiwan. She further noted that the CY exercises its powers of supervising civil servants and the government under the law. President Chen also outlined how the NHRC was finally established on August 1, 2020, after 20 years of effort, to advocate for the protection of human rights and help Taiwanese society better understand the importance of human rights by constructing a human rights protection system and promoting related education.

Senator Richard, meanwhile, joined the other members of his delegation in praising President Chen’s efforts as part of Taiwan’s democracy movement, saying that the establishment of the NHRC echoed her lifelong commitment to the cause. The delegation also discussed the duties of the CY, how CY Members are appointed, and human rights issues more broadly. The visitors expressed their deep admiration for Taiwan’s efforts to embed into legislation various international conventions that guarantee human rights, such as the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. They praised Taiwan’s commitment to upholding such conventions despite the challenges the nation faces in joining international organizations or signing international conventions and voiced France’s willingness to assist in expert consultations.

To conclude, President Chen presented the delegation with a “crashing waves” porcelain cup, explaining that the wave pattern on the cup symbolizes the promotion of human rights as a series of waves, waves on which Taiwan rides toward a future where all people be treated equally with tenderness.

The delegation was also met by CY Members Yung-ching Jao, Jung-chang Wang, and Chiu-chin Tien; CY Secretary General Judy, Fu-meei Ju; French Office in Taiwan Director Jean-François Casabonne-Masonnave and Deputy Director Guillaume Delvallée; and Deputy Foreign Minister Harry Ho-jen Tseng.