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Remarks by Deputy Minister Dr. Ming-Yen Tsai at a welcome banquet marking the 2022 EU-Taiwan LGBTI Human Rights Conference

  • Data Source:Department of European Affairs
  • Date:2022-10-27

Dr. Ming-Yen Tsai
 Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs 
 Republic of China (Taiwan)
 October 27, 2022
 (As Prepared for Delivery)


Ladies and gentlemen:

Good evening!

It is an honor to cohost this welcome banquet to mark the 2022 EU-Taiwan LGBTI Human Rights Conference. On behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, I extend my warmest welcome to all conference panelists and experts. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this gathering was postponed following its initial and very successful launch in 2019. After a two-year hiatus, the EU-Taiwan LGBTI Human Rights Conference has now returned in a hybrid form. I would like to congratulate and thank the Executive Yuan's Department of Gender Equality and the European Economic and Trade Office for making this event possible once again. 

This year's conference underlines the joint commitment of Taiwan and the EU to promote gender equality and inclusion. It also highlights the interest of our partners across Asia to cooperate on this important issue. I hope that, by working together, we can explore best practices in gender mainstreaming so as to further strengthen equality throughout our societies. 

The shared values of human rights and gender equality are fundamental to both Taiwan and the EU and form the very foundation of our relationship. Taiwan is pleased to be continuing its collaboration with the EU on this basis—including, for example, through the Program for EU-Taiwan Gender Equality Cooperation and Training Framework. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs fully supports this initiative and hopes that even more Asian partners will join the platform, which is advancing gender equality across the region.

This year's conference is emphasizing the imperative of protecting the rights of intersex, transgender, gay, and lesbian people. Taiwan is proud to lead numerous gender and sexual orientation equality indicators in Asia. According to the Executive Yuan's most recent report, Taiwan ranks sixth out of 163 countries around the world in overall gender equality and first in Asia. Women account for more than 42 percent of our nation's legislators, well above the world's average. In addition, Taiwan became the first Asian country to legalize same-sex marriage in 2019. And we are also the first country in the region to have elected a female president. 

Taiwan has come a long way, yet there is more to do. We hope to continue working closely with the EU, as well as other partners in the region, to further strengthen human rights and gender equality. We also look forward to pursuing broad engagement with like-minded countries, international organizations, and civil societies through exchanges and discussions.

With that, I wish you all a delightful evening and tomorrow's program great success. Thank you!