January 23, 2015
Background Information No. 001
The World League for Freedom and Democracy (WLFD) ROC chapter held a series of events celebrating the 2015 World Freedom Day in Taipei from January 22 to 24. On the evening of January 23, Minister of Foreign Affairs David Y. L. Lin hosted a reception to welcome foreign dignitaries attending the celebrations. Members of the diplomatic corps and ROC officials were also invited to take part.
In his remarks at the reception, Minister Lin noted that in the Freedom in the World report released by US think tank Freedom House in 2014, Taiwan received a score of 1—the highest possible rating—in the category of political rights, and a score of 2 in the civil liberties category. It earned an overall rating of “free” for the 16th consecutive year, putting it in company with nations in Western Europe, the United States, and Japan. Taiwan is one of the 63 countries ranked “free” among the 197 nations surveyed.
Minister Lin stated that the Republic of China was a founding member of the WLFD, and that the people of Taiwan are proud of their democratic achievements and human rights protections, which came about through working in tandem with the government. He pointed out that Taiwan, in partnership with the WLFD, is happy to share its democratization experience with other countries, and is committed to deepening and enhancing its democracy.
The World Freedom Day celebrations were attended by 53 government and parliamentary officials from 21 countries and areas who were invited by the WLFD ROC chapter. These include: President of the Senate of Palau, Camsek Chin; Lieutenant Governor of Guam, Ray Tenorio; member of the German Bundestag, Axel E. Fischer; members of the Hong Kong Legislative Council, Emily Lau Wai-hing and Helena Wong Pik-wan; member of the Parliament of Malaysia, Haji Zainudin Haji Ismail; and member of the Parliament of Latvia, Andris Buikis. They were joined by current and former MPs from Japan, the Republic of Korea, Nepal, the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Myanmar, Mongolia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Laos, Belgium, France, Mexico, and Nicaragua, as well as Kelly Roberts and Samantha Lu, Vice Chair and member, respectively, of the United Nations Department of Information/Non-governmental Organizations Executive Committee. (E)