The COP 23 meeting in Bonn,Germany concluded in November and the Ambassador of Kiribati, Ambassador Teekoa Iuta said she has talked to Kiribati delegation and they looked at the conference positively. Most countries take the issue seriously judging from the fact that Fiji, being a small country affected by climate change, was given the chair and that was a sign forward adding that big countries show support for a small country like Fiji to take leadership in the conference.
The Ambassador of Kiribati, Ambassador Teekoa Iuta added that the most important task for Kiribati is to ensure water and food security. Even without the issue of climate change, Kiribati has faced the problem of fresh water supply. But climate change makes the situation worse as it has eroded Kiribati’s land and caused salt water to penetrate into fresh water resources. Diseases such as diarrhea, cold and other health issues are prevalent and the government of Kiribati has continuously tackled this issue in order to improve the health of the people.
Taiwan is one step closer to becoming the first Asian country to legalize same sex marriage. Two draft amendments to the Civil Code aimed at legalizing same sex marriage passed the first reading at the legislature in Taiwan on December 26, 2016. Article 972 of the Civil Code will add the paragraph recognizing “both parties of a same sex marriage. This is an addition to recognizing marriage made by the male and female parties. Another amendment includes the rights and duties of the same sex couples who marry. According to the procedure of the legislature, the bill will be reviewed after April before it is passed as a law after the second and third readings.
The Alliance of Religious Groups for the Love of Families Taiwan made up of multiple religious groups and parents oppose to the amendment and propose a “special law” to for LGBT marriage rights. Conservative religious groups, mostly the Christians, oppose to the amendment.
Victoria Hsu, the president of the Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights (TAPCPR) will share with us her views on same sex marriage. Victoria Hsu is a lawyer and a member of the Gender Equality Committee of the Executive Yuan (Taiwan’s Cabinet).More
Mrs.Vimala Britto, co-founder of of St.Britto’s Group of Institutions and founder of Seek Foundation, an NGO for the underprivileged said women empowerment and child development are the two main tasks her NGO, Seek, aims to serve. She has started to provide people in 15 villages near Chennai with good and healthy life.
Mrs.Vimala Britto represented her group to sign MOUs with Taiwan’s Changhua Christian Hospital and Da Yeh University in late January. Apart from medical care and education, she also hopes to find talents in Taiwan to take part in India’s 2017 Premier Futsal, a version of five-a-side football.
India’s St.Britto’s Group of Institutions and Seek Foundation, an NGO for the underprivileged signed an MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) with Taiwan’s Changhua Christian Hospital to enhance cooperation in the field of medical health. Mrs.Vimala Britto, the co-founder and executive director said the cooperation also aims to provide good health and good life for the 15 villages near Chennai, South India. She said Taiwan’s Consul General in Chennai, Mr.Charles Li introduced the hospital to her. While she was in Taiwan, she also represented St.Britto’s College in Chennai to sign an MOU with Taiwan’s Da Yeh University. The MOU is intended to promote academic cooperation and exchange between faculty and students of both institutions. Mrs.Vimala Britto said that Britto’s College can accommodate 200 students from Taiwan for internship and exchange program.
The Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD) was awarded the Asia Democracy and Human Rights Award in 2016 for their efforts to rescue and speak out for the disappeared despite facing political pressure and lack of resources.
Ms.Mary Aileen Bacalso, the secretary general of the Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD) said Bangladesh has the most cases of enforced disappearances. She said many governments try to justify their problems by using national security as an excuse to take away political dissidents or opponents by force.
The Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances or AFAD was awarded the Asia Democracy and Human Rights Award in 2016. AFAD is an international human rights organization dedicated to the goal of stopping forced disappearances in Asia. It was founded in June 1998 in Manila, Philippines.
Ms.Mary Aileen Bacalso, the secretary general of AFAD said the winning of the award will amplify their efforts and gains here in Asia especially coming from Taiwan which had a common experience of forced disappearances by the government before the lifting of the martial law in July 1987.
Ms.Bacalso added that the award is a noble expression of friendship and solidarity and dedicated the award to all the disappeared in Asia and the rest of the world.
For more information about AFAD, please visit http://www.afad-online.org/