TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Global Cooperation and Training Framework (GCTF), which is co-organized by Taiwan, the U.S., and Japan, kicked off a two-day online conference with Slovakia Thursday (Sept. 9) with discussions on economic recovery after the pandemic.
Huei Jen-chen (陳慧蓁), deputy head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ (MOFA) Department of North American Affairs, explained that the meeting had been organized in order to meet the rapid changes in the global labor market caused by the pandemic. She said that countries feel it is necessary to take action and respond to related challenges in order to promote experience sharing as a reference for policymaking, the Liberty Times reported.
Chen said that the event, which will last until Friday (Sept. 10), was jointly organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Labor (MOL), the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association, and the Slovak Economic and Cultural Office. The U.S. Department of Labor was also deeply involved in planning the meeting, per the Liberty Times.
This is the first time that the GCTF has organized a conference on labor issues and also its first time to invite Slovakia to be a co-host of an event, Chen said. Lubica Ruzickova, director of the European Employment Strategy Department under Slovakia’s labor ministry, was invited to be the keynote speaker.
Meanwhile, Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) and Minister of Labor Hsu Ming-chun (許銘春); U.S. Department of Labor Deputy Undersecretary for International Affairs Thea Lee; the Japanese representative to Taiwan, Hiroyasu Izumi; and the Slovak representative to Taiwan, Martin Podstavek, all delivered opening remarks via pre-recorded videos.
In his speech, Wu said that the protection of human rights and improvement of working conditions are both guaranteed by Taiwan's Constitution and that the Taiwanese government is committed to improving labor conditions to comply with international standards. Taiwan has adopted a multi-faceted strategy to contribute to global labor governance, he said, including through regular dialogue and visits with countries such as the U.S., the Philippines, Indonesia, and E.U. member states.