Taipei, The European Union’s top envoy to Taiwan on Wednesday lauded the cooperation between the EU and Taiwan on human rights but said there was still room for improvement.
“The EU and Taiwan have long-standing cooperation in the field of human rights, which includes an annual human rights dialogue launched in 2018 and regular contact with Taiwanese NGOs,” Filip Grzegorzewski, chief of the European Economic and Trade Office (EETO) said at a Human Rights Day reception in Taipei.
“Our dialogues are an opportunity to take stock of the advances made on both sides, as well as to identify the issues where there is still progress to be made, such as the death penalty and the rights of migrant workers,” he added.
Grzegorzewski said that while Taiwan’s human rights record is among the best in Asia, the presence of the many human rights activists and NGOs at the reception were a reminder that there were still many issues to be addressed.
The event, organized jointly by the Belgian Office and the French Office in Taipei, was held to mark the 70th anniversary of the European Convention on Human Rights and to celebrate Human Rights Day, which is observed annually on Dec. 10.
Representatives from human rights groups and NGOs, members of the diplomatic corps and some Taiwanese legislators attended the reception.
In his remarks, Grzegorzewski also highlighted some of the EU’s recent human rights efforts, including its adoption of a new European Democracy Action Plan, which targets individuals, entities and bodies worldwide that violate human rights.
He also noted that the Taiwan Association for Human Rights is participating in the 22nd EU-NGO Human Rights Forum that is being held virtually Dec. 9-10 to tackle human rights compliance in the digital sphere.
Meanwhile, Taiwan’s Deputy Foreign Minister Harry Tseng (曾厚仁) said Taiwan has been making progress on human rights, as evidenced by its legalization of same-sex marriage, improvement of working conditions for migrant fishermen, and drafting of its first national human rights action plan.
“I believe that based on our shared values, the cooperation and friendship between Taiwan and the EU will continue to flourish,” Tseng said.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel