It is a great honor to be here on behalf of the government and people of Taiwan. I am also pleased to be joined by Reverend Pusin Tali, Taiwan’s first Ambassador-at-Large for Religious Freedom. President Tsai Ing-wen made this special appointment to affirm Taiwan’s strong commitment to promote religious freedom both at home and around the world.
As you know, Taiwan was one of the first countries to actively answer the call of the first Ministerial last year by hosting an international forum titled “A Civil Society Dialogue on Securing Religious Freedom in the Indo-Pacific Region” in Taipei in March. More than 200 religious, NGO and opinion leaders as well as officials from over a dozen countries attended the forum, marking it as the first of its kind in our area. Ambassador Sam Brownback specifically came and gave the most inspiring and powerful keynote speech, calling on all nations to respect the universal right to freedom of religion.
Also in this forum, Taiwan pledged to contribute 1 million US dollars to the Department of State’s International Religious Freedom Fund, supporting global efforts to eliminate religious persecution. We encourage all like-minded countries to lock arms and step up our vital assistance to those who do not enjoy the freedom to practice their faith.
President Tsai firmly believes that the religious freedom we enjoy in Taiwan is an integral part of our democratic way of life and one of the most important assets we can share with the international community. That’s why when Secretary of State Pompeo not long ago highlighted Taiwan as a reliable democratic partner and a force for good in the world, we cannot agree with him more!
On today’s momentous occasion, Taiwan renews its unwavering commitment to uphold fundamental human rights, human dignity, cultural diversity and ultimate religious freedom, and we call on all nations to join us. Thank you!