Taiwan again invited to join U.S-hosted religious freedom forum

2019/07/14 16:46:03 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
Taiwan representative to the U.S. Stanley Kao (left) and ambassador-at-large for religious freedom Pusing Tali.
CNA file photo

Taiwan representative to the U.S. Stanley Kao (left) and ambassador-at-large for religious freedom Pusing Tali. CNA file photo

Taipei, July 14 (CNA) Taiwan's top representative to the U.S. and the nation's ambassador-at-large for religious freedom have both been invited to take part in a U.S.-organized international religious freedom forum next week in Washington.

Representative Stanley Kao (高碩泰) and ambassador-at-large Pusing Tali have received invitations to join the second Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom forum in Washington from July 16 to 18, according to Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) spokesman Andrew Lee (李憲章) on Sunday.

This marks the second year Taiwan will send a government representative to take part in the annual event first launched in 2018. Kao attended the debut edition of the forum in July 2018.

"By attending the meeting, Taiwan hopes to share its experience in upholding freedom, democracy and human rights with like-minded countries to jointly promote religious freedom worldwide," Lee told CNA.

During the 2018 meeting, the U.S. called on like-minded partners to launch the Potomac Plan of Action that called on participating states to create an ambassador-at-large for religious freedom.

The U.S. also formed the International Religious Freedom Fund (I-ReFF) to help persecuted religious minorities around the world follow the meeting.

In response to the U.S.'s call, Taiwan in March 2019 named Pusing Tali as the country's first ambassador-at-large for religious freedom as it hosted a two-day Indo-Pacific forum on religious freedom.

Pusing Tali, the president of Yushan Theological College and Seminary and an indigenous Atayal, was chosen due to his decades-long efforts in teaching theology to Taiwan's indigenous peoples.

Also in March, Taiwan donated US$1 million to the I-ReFF to be used to promote religious freedom worldwide.

Attendees at the Taipei forum included U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback, who delivered a keynote speech during the two-day forum.

(By Elaine Hou and Joseph Yeh)
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