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International Day of Peace Observed in Taiwan

Taiwan-2016-09-24-International Day of Peace Observed in Taiwan

Taipei, Taiwan—UPF-Taiwan held a seminar on the theme, “The Future of Cross-Strait Relations: The Way of Peace, Sustainable Development and Cooperation,” on September 24, 2016 in observance of the International Day of Peace. More than 100 delegates participated in the event, which took place at the National Taiwan Normal University.

Despite political differences on cross-strait relations between China and Taiwan, there are many elements of peace-building in these relations that have the potential to contribute to sustainable development. For example, both sides use the same Chinese characters and the same language, as well as share a common cultural background. Therefore, putting aside differences of political ideology to focus on creating well-being for both sides of the Strait is an essential aspect of the peacemaking process. This seminar was valuable for the participants to reflect upon how they can share responsibilities and find ways to defuse crises in the Greater China region (mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan). 

Welcoming Remarks

Mr. Ker-shung Lee, president of UPF-Chinese Region

“Thank you for your enthusiastic participation for the 2016 UN International Day of Peace Seminar, co-sponsored by UPF, PWPA and FFWPU in Taiwan. The Universal Peace Federation is an NGO in special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC), and was founded by Dr. and Mrs. Sun Myung Moon. The founders have unceasingly promoted the concept of having an Upper House and a Lower House in the UN. This proposal was formally introduced to the UN by the representative from the Philippines in 2003 calling for the creation of an “Inter-religious and International Peace Council” as the upper house and the member nations to comprise the lower house. More than 50 nations expressed support for the measure noting that national representatives at the UN can only voice and stress their own national interests, but NGOs and religious leaders can go beyond national interests for the benefit of all humankind. In the meanwhile, UPF continues to promote UN peace projects, particularly the past Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the current Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The late President Dr. Moon left a legacy, and now his wife, Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, continues to lead this important peace movement with special emphasis on regional peace. The UPF-Chinese Region was established to promote cross-strait relations. Last year, UPF-Chinese Region held the Cross-Strait Peace Forum in this same venue. Today, we continue our efforts for greater peace under the theme: “The Future of Cross-Strait Relations: The Way of Peace, Sustainable Development and Cooperation.”” 

VIP Remarks

Dr. Hideo Oyamada, special Emissary of UPF-Chinese Region

“Dear respected delegates, Dr. Moon compared the roles of nations to the roles in a family…Man-centered history has produced many wars throughout the centuries, but now we are witnessing a landmark shift from a history centered on men to the emergence of women leaders in many nations. Both Taiwan and South Korea have elected female presidents, and the United States may also elect a female president…Based on my own 35 years dealing with mainland China, I am confident that Taiwan can serve as peacemaker for our region.” 

Moderator

Dr. King-yuh Chang, former minister of the Mainland Affairs Council of the ROC

“The world has made great advances in science and technology. Economic growth has pulled people out of poverty and the average life expectancy has dramatically increased in many countries. However, such positive developments also allow us to see the problems facing humanity. Are the advances in technology a means to engage in greater conflict and for the sake of making profits or do these improvements have a higher purpose to uplift and benefit humanity? At present, the cross-strait relationship is in deep freeze and communication is suspended. These issues need to be discussed by both sides. We need to find peace and sustainable development. The absence of military conflict does not mean there is peace. We must establish environmental conditions for peace and reconciliation. The fact that we have common blood and descend from common ancestors means we should find ways both economically and culturally to achieve sustainable development and exchanges. Today, three scholars and experts will address this topic.” 

Topic 1: Cross-Strait Mutual Prosperity and Exchange of Atmospheric Information

Prof. Liu Koung-Ying, research professor, Department of Atmospheric Sciences, Chinese Culture University, Taiwan

Speaking from the perspective of atmospheric study, reviewing the past record of air pollution and climate disasters, Prof. Liu emphasized the importance of atmospheric information exchange and cooperation and support by both sides. The professor also spoke of the need to improve communication and for both sides to help one another develop up-to-date atmospheric information to reduce the risk of climate disaster. 

Topic 2: The Republic of China (Taiwan) Response to the South China Sea Arbitration Case

Dr. Liu, Fu-Kuo, research fellow, Institute of International Relations (IIR), National Chengchi University, Taiwan

“What should be the policy of Taiwan in response to the ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration that the Taiwan-held Itu Aba Island (Taiping Island) is a rock not an island, and would not qualify for a 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone? Additionally, the court decided that mainland China’s vast claim over the South China Sea has no legal basis. Essentially this means that both sides of the strait are actually agreeing with one another. However, in the current climate of Taiwan’s frozen relations with China, Dr. Liu elaborated seven thoughtful points regarding policy issues and challenges.

  1. How should Taiwan correctly understand the South China Sea and international relations?
  2. What is the relationship between the South China Sea dispute and national sovereignty, national security and diplomacy?
  3. What is the actual impact of the South China Sea arbitration on Taiwan?
  4. Why should Taiwan persist in opposing the arbitration in the South China Sea?
  5. Does Taiwan have only Taiping Island and Zhongzhou Reef in the South China Sea regardless of the “nine-dash line,” first published in 1947 by the ROC?
  6. Why is the South China Sea arbitration case highlighting the urgency of cross-strait cooperation?
  7. Why should compliance with international law use the international situation to pursue equity? 

Topic 3: Peace and Cooperation in the South China Sea: Viable Possibilities for Consideration

Dr. Chiau Wen-Yan, professor, Institute of Marine Affairs and Resource Management, National Taiwan Ocean University

From the ecological and environmental protection perspective for the future of the South China Sea, neighboring countries might want to consider different ways of cooperating. Dr. Chiau recommends:

  1. Ecological rehabilitation for damaged seas areas;
  2. Collaboration on promoting the prevention and control of marine pollution;
  3. Establishing an environmental network of the South China Sea to monitor changes in the air and sea;
  4. Establishing a coordinated rescue mechanism in the spirit of “humanitarian relief,” and risk assessment;
  5. Cooperating in the exploration and perseveration of underwater cultural assets from the point of view of the “common heritage of humankind;”
  6. Encouraging countries to set up “Marine Protected Areas” in the South China Sea for the conservation of marine ecology and resources, establishing a “network for marine protected areas;
  7. With the support and assistance of international organizations (such as Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, APEC, or the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, ICUN) promote building an “International Peace Park” in the South China Sea.

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