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CY Delegation Led by President Chu Chen Attends 34th APOR Conference

  • PostDate:2022-10-27

Control Yuan (CY) President Chu Chen, together with the members of the International Affairs Committee Wen-cheng Lin, Mei-yu Wang and Sun-lu Fan, attended the 34th APOR annual conference on 13-14 October 2022 in Wellington, New Zealand. During the past two years, APOR annual meetings were held by video conference due to the pandemic. The conference held this year was the first physical meeting since the 6th-term Control Yuan members took office, allowing exchanges with APOR members in person to discuss regional important ombudsman and human rights-related issues.

The theme of the 34th APOR conference was “Remaining Relevant and Getting Government to Listen.” APOR members and guests were invited to three panels to engage in presentations and discussions. President Chen was invited to present at the session “Influencing an integrity and human rights agenda,” discussing influencing government while remaining above the political fray.

In her speech, President Chen stated that since the 6th-term CY members took office, they have strived to promote transparency, investigate cases of judicial collective corruption, and focus more on human rights violations and transitional justice, including human rights abuses during COVID-19 and the rights of international migrant workers. Through investigating, publishing special reports, and arranging several symposiums, the CY has continued to play its role in promoting government integrity and protecting human rights.

The conference coincided with celebrations to mark the 60th anniversary of the Ombudsman in New Zealand, and the CY delegation was invited to the ceremony held at Parliament House during the visit. The delegates also visited the Office of the Ombudsman and the New Zealand Human Rights Commission, receiving warm greetings from Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier and Human Rights Chief Commissioner Paul Hunt, accompanied by Race Relations Commissioner Meng Foon, and having fruitful exchanges and discussions on both supervisory experiences and human rights systems.

To maximize the effectiveness of the visit and exercise of supervisory rights, the delegation also met with Western Australian Ombudsman and IOI President Chris Field and Victorian Ombudsman Deborah Glass as APOR Regional President. Moreover, thanks to arrangements by the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in New Zealand, the delegation met with the New Zealand-Taiwan Business Council (NZTBC). The CY delegation also made an inspection visit to the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office for a general overview of the current situation regarding Taiwan’s foreign relations, trade, overseas compatriots, culture, and other related work in New Zealand. The delegates expressed gratitude to the faculty working overseas for sticking to their responsibilities during the pandemic.

The CY is a voting member of the International Ombudsman Institute (IOI). The IOI is the only international organization that promotes cooperation of ombudsman organizations globally, with 205 independent ombudsman institutions from more than 100 countries joining as voting members to advocate the concepts of ombudsmanship and human rights. The Australasian and Pacific Ombudsman Region (APOR) is one of the six regions under the IOI and the region of which the CY is a member. The APOR conference is held every one to two years.

The 34th APOR Conference was co-hosted by Australia’s Victorian Ombudsman and the New Zealand Office of the Ombudsman. Three panels were held, the topics of which were “Staying independent and neutral while seeking advice from civil society and others”, “Investigating corruption: a job for a watchdog pack or lone wolf?” and “Influencing an integrity and human rights agenda”.

The APOR issued a communiqué after reaching a consensus at the members’ meeting on 14 October, reaffirming the Venice Principles, reiterating the importance of the role of the Ombudsman for the promotion of good public administration and the protection of citizen’s rights, and committing to ongoing cooperation and sharing of best practices with APOR members and wider Ombudsman fraternity. This is the first time that a communiqué has been issued to summarize the conclusions of the APOR conference and the members’ meeting.