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Control Yuan Members Attends the 16th Asia Pacific Forum in Bangkok

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Control Yuan Members Attends the 16th Asia Pacific Forum in Bangkok

For the purpose of enhancing mutual relations, a delegation of the Human Rights Protection Committee of the Control Yuan attended the 16th Annual and Biennial Seminar of Asia Pacific Forum of National Human Rights Institutions (APF), held between September 6 and 8, 2011. Headed by Control Yuan Member Dr. Louis R. Chao, the group includes Control Yuan Members Liu, Hsin-sun, Chien Lin Whei-Jun, and Executive Secretary Lin Ming-huei. The delegation also called at National Human Rights Commission of Thailand, Office of the Ombudsman Thailand, and Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Thailand.

Established in 1996, APF consists of seventeen national human rights institutions. As a leading regional human rights organization, APF aims to facilitate the establishment of national human rights institution in the Asia Pacific region and offers training, international collaboration and resource sharing to ensure institutional compliance with the Paris Principle. As an observer, the Control Yuan is attending the event for the fifth time since the delegation was founded in 2004. The event coincides with the implementation of International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and International Covenant on Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), or the Two Covenants for short, on December 10th 2009. The enforcement act of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) went into effect in 2012. These ratifications have allowed Taiwan to keep up with international human rights norms. Control Yuan’s participation in the APF event is especially meaningful as it demonstrates Taiwan's progress in human rights protection and offers great opportunity for exchanges with government and non-government organizations in the region.

Over two hundred delegates took part in the three-day event, including the seventeen member states, four national human rights/ ombudsman institutions from non-member states, Office of the High Commission for Human Rights (OHCHR), United Nations Development Program (UNDP) , forty-four non-government organization, two inter-governmental organizations, and diplomats from thirteen different countries. In addition to strengthening collaboration between national human rights institutions and the United Nations, the event focused on the issues of “gender identity and sexual orientation” and “right to development”. While opinions varied on the former issue due to religious differences, all participants agreed that the right to development means that the fruits of political, economic, social and cultural development should be shared by all. Participants went on to discuss the roles and functions of national human rights institutions at domestic, regional and global levels. They also shared experiences on the development and implementation of supervisory functions with the hope of realizing the right to development.