Taiwan, US stage GCTF workshop on defending democracy

The International Workshop on Defending Democracy through Media Literacy, staged under the Taiwan-U.S. Global Cooperation and Training Framework, kicked off Sept. 10 in Taipei City.

Organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, American Institute in Taiwan, Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association, Swedish Trade and Investment Council in Taipei, Taiwan Foundation for Democracy, National Democratic Institute and International Republican Institute, the two-day event underscores the commitment of freedom-loving countries to combating disinformation and misinformation in the Indo-Pacific.

The workshop, which springboards off the success of last year's event, is noteworthy for the attendance of Sweden. This is the first time a European nation has participated in a GCTF activity.

According to organizers, officials and representatives from 12 countries are taking part in the event. High-profile attendees include MOFA Minister Jaushieh Joseph Wu, Legislative Yuan President Su Jia-chyuan, U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Scott Busby, AIT Director Brent Christensen, JTEA Deputy Rep. Nishiumi Shigehiro and STICT Rep. Hakan Jevrell.

Wu said during his opening address that Taiwan is on the front lines of the battle to defend democracy and rules-based order. The threat of false information is more serious than ever before as Taiwan readies for its presidential and legislative elections early next year, he added.

As a reliable partner, democratic success story and force for good in the world, Taiwan is determined to safeguard its democracy, Wu said, adding that the country is working with like-minded countries and partners in this regard.

As part of a series of events marking the 40th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act, the workshop showcases the multifaceted nature of Taiwan-U.S. relations, Wu said. It also serves as a platform for both sides to share experience and expertise with the rest of the world in confronting regional and global challenges, he added.

Echoing Wu's remarks, Busby praised Taiwan for its success in building a rights-respecting democracy in the face of threats posed by external forces.

Taiwan is to be commended for its commitment to universally accepted human rights and democratic principles focused on respecting the dignity of every individual, Busby said, adding that these include the fundamental freedoms of speech, religion, press, association and peaceful assembly.

The workshop is the 20th staged by Taiwan and the U.S. since the launch of the GCTF in June 2015. Topics span key areas such as disaster relief, e-commerce, education, energy, environmental protection, humanitarian assistance, public health and women's empowerment.

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of China (Taiwan)