February 4, 2015
Background Information No.005
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs held a reception on February 4 to thank representatives of 200 domestic NGOs for their active participation in international exchanges over the past year. Veteran social services contributors Dr. Joyce Feng, Minister without Portfolio of the Executive Yuan, and Dr. Sheuan Lee, Minister without Portfolio of the Examination Yuan, also attended to pay respect to these NGOs. The lively event featured a welcome dance and a Seediq mouth harp dance by the award-winning Taiwan Aboriginal Dance Culture and Arts Group.
In his remarks, Minister of Foreign Affairs David Y. C. Lin mentioned that 2014 was a fruitful year in terms of the international participation of domestic NGOs. Their active efforts spanned a wide range of areas, such as humanitarian aid, medical and sanitation cooperation, gender equity, the arts and culture, youth exchanges, and sporting events.
Minister Lin also pointed out that in recent years the ROC government has actively provided humanitarian aid around the globe. By establishing partnerships among the government, domestic NGOs, and the international community, the ROC is able to take concrete steps in the area of humanitarian aid. As a result, members of Taiwan’s civil society have become prominent representatives of the country, making compassion and good deeds bright facets of the Taiwan brand. Minister Lin added that MOFA will continue to strengthen its cooperation with domestic NGOs so as to expand the scope of Taiwan’s international participation and the visibility of its overseas humanitarian aid, spotlighting Taiwan on the international stage.
Minister without Portfolio Feng thanked MOFA on behalf of Premier Mao Chi-kuo for its long-time commitment to assisting Taiwan’s NGOs, which ardently engage in international exchanges. Minister without Portfolio Lee noted that, during her 40 years of working with NGOs, MOFA has always extended sincere and unreserved support to them, facilitating their important endeavors abroad. Wang Ching-feng, president of the Red Cross Society of the Republic of China (Taiwan), bowed twice to the NGO representatives to express her gratitude. She stressed that the Red Cross will continue to combine public and private sector resources with the aim to better extend Taiwan’s international humanitarian aid.
Minister Lin also issued people-to-people diplomacy awards to several civic groups that worked with the government on international humanitarian aid and disaster prevention efforts last year. In particular, the Taiwan Health Corps held the Workshop on Control and Prevention of Ebola and Global New Infectious Diseases last November, helping domestic NGOs and medical personnel hone their capabilities for fighting infectious diseases. In addition, the Children’s Foundation of the Taiwan District of Kiwanis International, the Bliss and Wisdom Foundation, the Taiwanese Women’s Entrepreneurs Association, the Red Cross Society of the Republic of China (Taiwan), Rotary International District 3520, and the US-based Simply Help Foundation worked with the government to launch the “Delivering Love to Usher in the New Year” campaign, donating goods to youths of ROC allies in the South Pacific and Latin America. The Taiwan Alliance in International Development coordinated with MOFA and USAID to hold the 2014 Emergency Shelter Workshop last December, providing training on overseas disaster relief cooperation between Taiwan and the United States. (E)