Premier Su Tseng-chang on Monday attended the opening ceremony of the review meeting for the third national report on the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Although Taiwan is not a United Nations member state, the premier said, we have still voluntarily committed ourselves to implementing international human rights conventions due to our recognition and regard for the value of human rights. Premier Su thanked the international experts who went out of their way to visit Taiwan and conduct this review. He vowed that the government will continue to work hard so that Taiwan's performance on human rights practices will rise even higher.
The premier pointed out that Taiwan has already passed its own laws to implement five of the United Nations' nine core international human rights instruments. To further safeguard human rights, Taiwan also founded the National Human Rights Commission, and recently approved the establishment of the Department of Human Rights and Transitional Justice within the Executive Yuan, the nation's highest administrative organ. Taiwan is furthermore the first country in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage.
Taiwan has worked to eliminate discrimination and inequality while protecting and caring for disadvantaged and vulnerable groups. These efforts apply not only to citizens but also to foreign workers on distant water fishing vessels, as exemplified by the passage of the Action Plan for Fisheries and Human Rights. Additionally, Taiwan adopted its first-ever National Human Rights Action Plan to address digital human rights, the environment, and other new and emerging human rights issues.
The people of Taiwan cherish our hard-won democracy and human rights, and the government is likewise promoting human rights with great vigor, the premier said. He encouraged the international experts not to hesitate in making recommendations during their reviews as the government understands Taiwan still has much room for improvement in this area. He pledged Taiwan will continue to champion the cause and stride forward by building on existing foundations.