TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- President Tsai Ing-wen attended the opening ceremony of the 49th General Assembly of the Asian-Pacific Parliamentarians' Union (APPU) this morning (Aug. 6), calling for member states to strive towards the Sustainable Development Goals set by the UN, reported CNA.
The president first welcomed representatives from Japan, Malaysia, Nauru, Palau, Tuvalu, and Papua New Guinea to participate in the APPU in Taiwan. President Tsai was accompanied by Legislative Speaker Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全), Legislative Yuan Vice Speaker Tsai Chi-chang (蔡其昌), and Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) at the ceremony.
The president mentioned that the Asian Parliamentarians' Union (APU), the predecessor of APPU, was established in 1965 by then-Prime Minister Kishi Nobusuke of Japan. The organization has been an important platform that helps bond the region together, ensure peace and stability, and protect the values of democracy and freedom, she added.
"Oceans of Democracy and a Sustainable Indo-Pacific" is the theme of this year's APPU General Assembly, which is fitting because contributing to both regional and the international issues has always been the union's core value. The Ocean, democracy, and an inclusive and pluralistic society are three things all member states share, said Tsai.
In last night's welcoming party, Su also elaborated on the oceanic theme, saying that having an open mind, inclusive friendliness, and environmental awareness are the typical characteristics of "ocean peoples," reported the Liberty Times. Taiwan will give detailed reports on topics such as "protecting ocean cultures," "reinforcing democratic cooperation," and "sustainable policies" during the three-day event.
President Tsai expressed her wish that APPU can serve as a platform for Taiwan's partners to work together to meet the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. Tsai also voiced her belief that the union can contribute considerably to global issues such as climate change.
Tsai stated that Taiwan will continue to implement its New Southbound Policy, cementing the country's relationships with its Southeast Asian neighbors. Taiwan has also collaborated with the U.S. and Japan on establishing the Global Cooperation and Training Framework and the Indo-Pacific Democratic Governance Consultations to foster new talent and promote better governance in the region.
Finally, the president reiterated the shared maritime links and democratic values among member states and called for all participants to build a sustainable Indo-Pacific region.