Global Elites Enthusiastically responded to 2010 World Summit on Human Rights for World Citizens
Experts from more than 196 Countries Congregated to Protect Human Rights and Safeguard the Earth
In celebration of the 9th anniversary of World Citizenship Day in Taiwan, the UN/NGO Association of World Citizens (AWC) and AWC in Taiwan held “2010 World Summit on Human Rights for World Citizens” on April 1, 2010. This event was jointly sponsored by more than 11700 agencies and organizations from more than 196 countries and received numerous congratulatory letters, correspondence, papers, calligraphy, and flower baskets from global elites and institutions, including Vice Secretary-general of the United Nations, ambassadors to the United Nations, Chair of the DPI/NGO Executive Committee Joan Levy, Chair of the 57th Annual DPI/NGO Conference Joan Kirby, Secretary-general of Amnesty International, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, President of Lebanon, Queen of Jordan, Prime Minister of Iceland, Queen of Denmark, King of Luxembourg, Prime Minister of Netherlands, Governor-general of Belize, Prime Minister of Ireland, Chancellor of Austria, Prime Minister of Belgium, President of Ireland, President of Croatia, President of Brazil, Prime Minister of Croatia, King of Thailand, Prime Minister of Lebanon, Govern-general of Australia, Govern-general of Jamaica, Prime Minister of Australia, Vice President of the Federal High Court of Ethiopia, The Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation, Grenada, Member of the European Parliament, German Justice Minister, the office of Dalai Lama, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Nelson Mandela Foundation, former President of Taiwan Teng-hui Lee, former Vice-President of Taiwan Annette Lu, Chairman of the Taiwan Provincial Government, Leader of people First Party of Taiwan James Soong, President of the Judicial Yuan of Taiwan, former President of the Judicial Yuan of Taiwan, former Vice President of the Judicial Yuan of Taiwan, the retired Presiding Judge of the Criminal Court of the Supreme Court Mr. Huan-Sheng Chen, Chair of the Human Rights Protection Committee of the National Federation of the R.O.C. Bar Association, Attorney Wen-Chang Chen, Attorney Yung-Ran Lee of the Chinese Association for Human Rights National Policy Advisor Attorney, Wen-Bin Hsu, former Chairman of the National Federation of the R.O.C. Bar Association, Chair of the National Federation of Certified Public Accountants Associations (Taiwan), heads of county and city governments, chairmen of county and city councils, legislators, county council members, city council members, Principal of National Taiwan University, former Principal of National Taiwan University, former Secretary-general of the Chinese Culture Restoration Movement Mr. Shi-Cheng Huang, and President of Liberty Times Mr. A-Ming Wu, and President of Taipei Buddhist Association Venerable Mater Shi Guang.
The 2010 World Summit on Human Rights for World Citizens on April 1 st was held at Y17, Taipei Youth Activity Center, International Convention Hall at 6F. Four main topics: Respect, Law, Taxation, and Environment were enthusiastically discussed at the summit to advocate the human rights development of world citizens. The subjects being discussed included human rights issues pertaining to women, children, senior citizens, laborers, teachers, cultures, religions, aborigines, and handicapped people. This event has inspired tremendous responses form global heads of state, leaders and experts from all fields. More than 700 elites and experts in human rights attended this event, and over 250,000 human rights papers and congratulatory letters from 196 countries were submitted to the summit. The articles will be compiled and presented to the head office of the UN/NGO AWC and related governmental organizations to serve as a reference to other countries for advancing human rights protection.
Dr. Hong, Tao-Tze, Honorary Vice-President of the UN/NGO Association of World Citizens (AWC), President of AWC Taiwan, remarked in his speech,
“As we speak here today, our living world has been stricken by countless disasters and calamities and is subject to abnormal patterns of climate change. Mankind's continued existence is being put to the test. In addition to dealing with climate change, human beings have to adjust both their recognition and action to fit into the new environment. In recognition of the urgency of the situation that we all face, in early March I called upon Mr. Douglas Mattern, the President of the UN NGO Association of World Citizens, heads of states, world leaders, and prominent scholars to convene this summit as quickly as possible.
Participation in and contribution to the 2010 World Summit on Human Rights for World Citizens by heads of states, world leaders, prominent scholars and experts is highly appreciated. Presentation of essays on the development of human rights from different perspectives is of great value. The collection of positive energies found in the essays will be a useful database for reference in the future and great contribution to humanity. At times like this, consolidation of knowledge and wisdom from various fields to help people navigate through the coming troubles is not only our responsibility and mission, but also a privilege and a virtue.”
Douglas Mattern, President of the Association of World Citizens, is in San Francisco, California and participated in the summit via video. He mentioned in his speech, “World Citizenship is not a replacement for national and regional citizenship duties, but rather a new way of thinking in this interdependent world to work together to secure our common fate. Co nflicts between nations and peoples are settled through the civilized framework of enforceable world law. These topics and the other very important issues will be discussed at today's meeting. New and brave new approaches to resolve these issues will be the result.” Near the end of his speech, he emphasizes that everyone participating in today's meeting, whatever his age, is the indispensable one as he quotes a poem by the playwright Bertolt Brecht on the great struggle for peace:
There are those who struggle for a day
And they are good
There are those who struggle for a year
And they are better
There are those who struggle all their lives
These are the indispensable ones
Chairman of the Congress of Paraguay H.E. Cesar Ariel Oviedo Verdun declared in his speech,
“Human dignity is one of the most essential aspects that make us human. Dignity is the foundation of human rights. Human rights will be realized when all rights such as rights of life, liberty, justice are implemented. Therefore, we affirm that dignity is an end in itself. However, we have one single question. Do we do our duty to protect human rights? Unfortunately the ONLY ANSWER IS: NO! Human rights have been constantly violated. We keep discriminating because of many different reasons such as: race, color, sex, language, religion, political views, property, birth or other status. Armed conflicts or social riots are daily news. I have the honor and responsibility being the head of the Chamber of Deputies of the Republic of Paraguay, even being the youngest chairman ever. My duty is to do the most with the tools that we have. We cannot keep allowing thousands of children to suffer from hunger every day, and thousands of people are dying because of wars. We cannot bear to see that the world is not improving. We should strive for equal rights. We should pay attention to the issues of health, education, housing, and water resources because these will be our future challenges. This is a battle for human dignity, which we cannot afford to lose. I believe people can learn a lot from this summit. Although I am from Paraguay, I have the feeling that we share the same values as the people of Taiwan. I wish to work together with you for human rights protection.”
Former Vice-President Annette Lu especially presented to the summit a book entitled “Governing a Country based on Human Rights.” Ms. Lu said, “The fact that AWC in Taiwan proclaimed April 1 as World Citizenship Day pointed to us that Taiwan cannot isolate itself from this international trend of human rights. The main topics of this summit: human rights given by heaven, natural rights based on the people and the rule of law, human rights protection, safeguarding the earth are very much in line with the four stages of human rights development for world citizens. At the first stage, a ruler cannot violate his people's passive human rights. At the second stage, the ruler has to ensure his people's active human rights. At the third stage, humans, merely visitors to the earth, should respect and protect nature. At the final stage, human rights are beyond the scope of individuals, and heaven, earth, and humans are untied as one. This shows that the theme of this summit is focusing on issues at the highest level of human rights. Nowadays we have seen countless natural disasters and man-made calamities in Taiwan and around the world as well. The problems we face this year are not just issues of carbon dioxide, and there are more problems to come. Therefore, stable and safe living and protection of life are important issues of human rights.” With the gift of her book as a token of encouragement, she urged all people to practice what they have known, show respect for heaven, cherish the earth, love others, treat Mother Nature and the universe with reverence, and cherish all the people they encounter.
The Highlighted Ceremony: Yes, I Do!
On behalf of all humanity, Vice President of Federation of World Peace and Love, Mrs. Hong, President of Liberty Times Mr. A-Ming Wu, and Director of Public Affairs of the Federation of World Peace and Love Mr. Michael Selfridge kicked off the ceremony of activating the “Globe of Human Rights.” This globe, symbolizing our earth, continuously gives forth powerful messages like: Natural Rights based on the people and the Rule of Law, human rights protection, and safeguarding the earth. The concentric circles above this globe lighted up starting from the inner circle then spreading to the outermost circle, signifying that the collective efforts and hearts of people of the world will transform into waves upon waves of enormous energies that are able to improve the world. Elites and experts in human rights, including honorable guests, envoys, assembly members, council members, heads of county and city, representatives from media, and professors, stepped on the stage and with AWC's logo on each person's hands made a confident and energetic hand gesture with the shout, “Yes, I do!” leading the other participants to safeguard human rights. This was to awaken people to the concept that human rights are inherent and need to be cherished and safeguarded.
Dr. Hong, Tao-Tze stated in his paper on human rights, “With the change of time, what are the things that the world citizens look forward to? People of some countries only look forward to a mournful of water and food; some just desire a peaceful land free of wars and diseases; some simply seek their survival, hoping that natural disasters will no longer strike and sea level will rise no more; some only hope that the economy will recover so that they will have the opportunity to work and provide for their families; some wish that their governments will practice human rights based on people and rule of law, that judicial practices are legal and justified, and that matters of taxation will not be mishandled.” At the summit, professionals presented papers on the four main topics: Respect, Law, Taxation, and Environment to voice the wish for the world citizens. Each presentation was concise and lasted approximately 3 minutes, and a wide range of issues was discussed to call attention of the government of every country, international societies, and each world citizen to the significance of the “God-given Human Rights” and the importance of creating and maintaining a safe and healthy living enviro nment for ourselves as well as future generations.
The first penal discussion focused on respect, and the presenters were President of Taipei Buddhist Association Venerable Mater Shi Guang Ming, Representative of the Manila Economic and Cultural Office Ms Frenelie Ann L. Ong, Legislator Jian-Guo Liu, Notional Policy Consultant Mr. Shi-Cheng Huang, Director of Pediatric Surgical Care of Hsin-Chu Hospital Dr. Yuan-Huai Hunag, President of Urban & Rural Improvement and Environment Protection Foundation Mr. Jun Hung Zhang, Professor at the Graduate School of National Development at National Cheng-Chi University Professor Yiu-Tan Li, and Professor at the Graduate School of Chinese Economy Professor Huei-Lin Wu.
The second penal discussion focused on law, and the panelists included Argentine Attorney at Law Mr. juan Urburu Quintana, former National Policy Consultant of the Presidential Office Mr. Cung-Ming Xie, lawyers Yi-Jing Guo and Fu-Qiang Cai on behalf of the CEO of Civilian Judicial Reform Foundation, former president of the Taipei Association of Lawyers Mr. Zhi-Pun Liu, Chair of the Environmental Committee of the Taipei Association of Lawyers Mr. San-Jia Lin, President of Chinese Association of Human Rights Assistant Professor Zhi-Jie Zhou, Assistant Professor of Finance and Law at Zhen-Li University Mr. Jing-Qing Wu, and President and Founder of Taiwan Women Federation Attorney at Law Mei-Nu Yiu.
The third panel discussion focused on taxation, and the presenters were Associate Professor of Law at Suocho University Qing-Xiu Chen, President of Taipei Accountants' Association Mr. Kun-Xi Xu, Assistant Professor of Finance and Taxation at Taipei Academy of Commerce Academy Mr. Shi-Zho Huang, Accountant at Jiu-Ding Accounting Firm Mr. Fu-Cung Zhang, Official of Kouhsung City Dung-Wei Hong, Associate Professor of Law at Cheng-gong University Mr. Ge-Zhung Ke, former president of Taiwan Accountants' Association Mr. Zhi-Cheng Zho, Lawyer at Li-Ding Law Office Ms. Li-Rung Huang on behalf of Lawyer Chang-Wen, and member of Federation of World Peace and Love Mr. Duncan Lee.
The final penal discussion was on environment, and the panelists were Legislator Qiu-Jin Tian, Canadian Reporter Ms. Kloie, Chair of the Department of Social and Public Affairs at Taipei Municipal Education University Mr. Cang-Hai Chen, General Manager of Taiwan Rubber Corporation Ltd. Mr. Wei-Hua Tu, Professor at National Yun-Lin Technology University Mr. Zhao-Jia Hong, Vice President of Chinese Wild Animal Protection Association Mr. Dian-Yi Ke, Director of the Research Center of Terrorism at National Central Police University Yu-Wei Wang, and Professor of School of Environment at Dung-Hua University.
Piecing Together the World Map of Human Rights
On behalf of the participating elites from the five continents, honorable guests, including former Vice President Annette Lu, Vice President of Federation of World Peace and Love, Mrs. Hong, Chairman of the Congress of Paraguay H.E. Cesar Ariel Oviedo Verdun, Ambassador of Paraguay H.E. Carlos Martines Ruiz Diaz, Ambassador of Sao Tome and Principe H.E. Jorge Amado, President of Liberty Times Mr. A-Ming Wu, Legislator Wei-Chih Huang, Legislator Chien-Kuo Liu…etc., pieced together a nearly 2-meter long world map of human rights. This was to signify that the universal fundamental value of human rights will prevail in every corner of the earth so that all people can live with dignity and lead meaningful and worthy lives. People of the world should utilize a heart of justice and strive to bring benefits, safety, happiness, and joy to others. We should work together to ensure that our world is safe, stable, and prosperous. Let's love and protect our earth together.
Stage play “The Tiger's Wish”
One of the features of this summit was human rights education for the youth. The receptionists at the summit were volunteers, most of whom are college students and people who just started their careers. These volunteers are also Tai Ji Men Energy Boys and Energy Girls. Although quite young, they have followed Dr. Hong Tao-Tze traveled around the world conducting cultural exchanges and attending meetings at the United Nations. This group of people is a new force that helps protect the earth. Young members at Tai Ji Men used an original stage play “The Tiger's Wish” to voice their wish. In the play, tigers from around the world, such as India , China , Sumatra, and Bengal get together at the “ Summit for Tigers” to discuss the issues of living rights for tigers. A mysterious guest from New York City , an urban tiger who has many friends, also brings a bunch of his “scarce animal” friends such as rhinoceros, polar bear, chimpanzee to the summit. At the summit, a “Tigers' Declaration” was formed and one of their resolutions appealed to humans that as the highest form of living creature, humans must properly use their rights and power, safeguard the earth, protect living creatures, and truly practice the living rights given by the heaven for all. This play in a creative and fun way pointed out the important issues of respect, war, environment, etc. Through this pay, people of the world were reminded that it is never too late to do what is right. This play appealed to the world that all humanity should unite themselves and starting from thinking good thoughts practice good deeds to bring positive changes to the world.
The Association of World Citizens (AWC) is an international peace organization. Established in 1975 in the United States , the AWC has expanded into more than 50 nations around the world and has NGO status with the UN, including the consultative status with the Economic and Social Council. The AWC was instrumental in reaching two disarmament resolutions on eradication of nuclear weapons which were signed by 51 Nobel Laureates and accepted by the United Nations Disarmament Department. For over 30 years, the AWC has worked with peace-loving world citizens and human rights activists around the world with an aim to create a world of fairness, justice and lasting peace.
World Citizenship Day in Taiwan was proclaimed on April 1, 2001, and April 1, 2010 marked its 9 th year. Over the past few years, the AWC has launched on-line endorsement campaigns, human rights education workshops and seminars, and cultural exchange activities for public welfare. The goal is to guide people to practice love, respect, and concern. This year the AWC started to invite elites around the globe to write papers on human rights with an aim to call people's attention to human rights development.
Dr. Hong, Tao-Tze, President of AWC in Taiwan especially set April as the World Citizenship Month in recognition of the increasing frequency of natural disasters and man-made calamities; since the beginning of 2010 the world has seen countless catastrophes such as the worst storm and blizzard in a century, record-breaking draughts and sand storms, devastating earthquakes in Haiti, Chile, and Mexico. The 2010 World Summit on Human Rights for World Citizens on April 1 marked the beginning of a series of changes and was meant to appeal to the people of the world to work together for protecting human rights and safeguarding the earth. April was especially set as the “World Citizenship Month” with the aim to unite more people to put forth effort to cherish the human rights endowed by heaven. As long as we start making changes from now on, it won't be too late. Safeguarding the earth starts from each and every of us; let's put our collective efforts and hearts into this significant undertaking. Starting from the hearts, we shall practice respect for all things in Nature, cherish the living rights given by heaven for every person and living creature, wholeheartedly love ourselves and every other world citizen. May each of us world citizens love the earth with our hearts. Yes, I do! We definitely can make it happen!