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Opening remarks by Deputy Minister Harry Ho-jen Tseng at the GCTF Virtual Conference on Building Disaster Resilience at Global and National Levels

  • Data Source:Department of North American Affairs
  • Date:2021-09-24

Harry Ho-jen Tseng
 Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs 
 Republic of China (Taiwan) 
 September 24, 2021
(As Prepared for Delivery)

Ladies and gentlemen, distinguished guests:


Welcome to today's Global Cooperation and Training Framework (GCTF) Virtual Conference on Building Disaster Resilience at Global and National Levels.


On March 10 this year, to commemorate the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, we held a GCTF event on Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters. Today's event, in observance of the 22nd anniversary of Taiwan's 921 Earthquake, marks the second GCTF workshop on disaster resilience this year.


I would like to thank the British Office, the Australian Office, the American Institute in Taiwan, and the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association for cohosting today's event. My thanks also go to our colleagues from the Ministry of Science and Technology and the National Science and Technology Center for Disaster Reduction for their support.


Having been struck by and recovered from massive earthquakes, Taiwan and Japan have both shown great resilience in the wake of disaster. On this meaningful occasion provided by the GCTF, we would like to share some valuable lessons with partners from around the world. 


Globally, nontraditional threats such as extreme weather and diseases are occurring ever more frequently. In the United States, the impact of Hurricane Ida was recently felt from Louisiana and Mississippi to New Jersey and New York. There have also been forest fires in Arizona, Idaho, Montana, and California. And Europe has also been affected by wildfires and flooding. Fostering the capacity to prevent and mitigate disasters has become an urgent issue for many countries. 


Building disaster resilience requires that countries come together in concerted effort. Taiwan has signed agreements with multiple countries to enhance information sharing and disaster cooperation. In March, Taiwan and the United States released a Joint Statement on Partners in Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief, launching a series of activities to enhance international cooperation on disaster prevention and response. 


We are also sharing technology developed in Taiwan, as well as experience on disaster management, with the international community. Taiwan's International Cooperation and Development Fund (TaiwanICDF) has helped diplomatic allies such as Belize, Honduras, and Nicaragua establish the advanced facilities and digital technologies needed for disaster preparedness. For example, the Urban Resilience Disaster Prevention Project in Belize is assisting the Belizean government to establish early warning mechanisms and improve flood preparedness through the use of geographic information system technology.


Taiwan can help, and Taiwan is helping. We will continue to work with global partners to enhance disaster preparedness. We will continue to make the world a safer and more resilient place. 


I wish you all a successful and fruitful discussion. Thank you!