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Tainan Deputy Mayor Chang Shao-yuan Attends World Human Rights Cities Forum 2018 at Gwangju Metropolitan City, Korea

Release Date:2018/11/12 AM 08:18:19 | Last Modified Date:2018/11/12 AM 09:53:07

 
Tainan City Deputy Mayor Chang Shao-yuan participated in the World Human Rights Cities Forum 2018, held between October 18 and 19, at Gwangju Metropolitan City (Gwangju City) in Korea. He attended the opening ceremony along with other mayors from different cities around the world. It is very meaningful for Deputy Mayor Chang to attend this international human rights event on behalf of Tainan as this year (2018) marks the 70th anniversary of the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the 25th anniversary of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, and the 20th anniversary of the Asian Human Rights Charter.
 
This year is also the 50th anniversary of the sister city relationship between Tainan and Gwangju City, and both cities celebrate the fifty-year relationship through frequent interactions . Lee Yun, Gwangju Metropolitan City General director of citizen safety, had just led a delegation to Tainan recently, and this visit to Gwangju City by Deputy Mayor Chang is a return courtesy visit on behalf of Tainan City Mayor Li Men-yen. 
 
For the opening ceremony, Lee Yong-seop, mayor of hosting Gwangju City, donned traditional Korean attire to welcome human rights workers from all over the world. He mentioned that three mayors from Indonesian cities were also present and expressed his condolences to the country which had recently been hit by earthquakes and a tsunami. Mayor Lee also remarked that upholding human dignity under any circumstance is a commonly shared value, and it is crucial for local governments to do everything in their power to safeguard human rights. With a long history in promoting human rights, Gwangju has been hosting the World Human Rights Cities Forum (WHRCF) annually since 2011 and is devoted to connecting and establishing links between global cities. Every year the forum sets a theme related to the most urgent human rights issue and gather professionals from all fields and backgrounds to discuss and find solutions, and talk about local action plans to enhance human rights and improve peace.
 
Deputy Mayor Chang was invited to the Mayor's Breakfast Meeting hosted by Gwangju City Mayor Lee Yong-seop, and had the chance to interact with other representatives from other countries. After the meeting, Chang gifted Mayor Lee a sword lion Koji pottery artwork which symbolizes Tainan and passed along a letter written by Tainan Mayor Li Men-yen which invited Mayor Lee Yong-seop to visit Tainan and experience the strong relationship between the two cities established through the past five decades .
 
In the afternoon of October 19, Deputy Mayor Chang took part in one of the Thematic Sessions titled “City and the Elderly”. Other participants include experts and researchers from National University of Singapore and Ewha Womans University. The panelists talked about the issue, and Chang also shared some policies and experiences of Tainan related to improving elderly welfare. With "Active Ageing in Tainan" as his topic, Chang introduced Tainan's elderly policies in three areas: financial help, maintaining health, and eldercare. He explained that Tainan’s elderly policies are community-centric so the senior population can live in a place they are familiar with. The government provides financial aid (senior pension scheme), healthcare (National Insurance scheme, mobile clinics, and free dentures), social groups and spaces (community colleges, township activity centers), and transportation assistance (free bus rides, Fu-Kang Buses) to take care of the mental and physical well-being of the elderly population. 
 
To honor the spirit of the Gwangju Democratization Movement in the 1980s and the Asian Human Rights Charter declared in Gwangju City in 1998, Gwangju City government has been hosting the World Human Rights Cities Forum annually since 2011. In the past seven years, WHRCF has become the icon of human rights forums in the Asian region. In 2017, the forum talked about the human rights crisis of the Rohingya people in Myanmar. This year the theme is "Whom Do We Live With? Diversity, inclusiveness and Peace". The Chairman of the Gwangju Metropolitan Council Kim Dong-chan, UN OHCHR Deputy High Commissioner Kate Gilmore, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Lee Tae-ho, and Raoul Wallenburg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law Director Morten Kjaerum were also present at the forum. 
 

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