Foundation’s Representative Discusses
Regional Coordination of Democracy Promotion in Taipei
|Dr. Meinardus with good political friends
in Taipei (from the left): John Coronel (CALD), Choi, Dong-kyu
(Uri Party Korea), Dr. Chee, Soon-juan (Singapore Democratic
Party) and Kazuo Inoue (Democratic Party of Japan)
Issues related to the promotion of democracy in the Asian region
stood at the center of a series of meetings which Dr. Ronald Meinardus,
the Resident Representative of the Friedrich-Naumann-Foundation
in the Philippines, attended in Taipei/Taiwan on October 5-6,
2004. Sponsored by the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy (TDF),
delegates from NGOs and political party leaders from various Asian
countries convened in order to prepare a unified regional
to be presented at the “Community
of Democracy” (CD) conference in Santiago/Chile in May 2005.
CD is a coalition of democratic countries, initiated in 1999
with the common goal of strengthening democratic institutions
and values on national, regional and global levels. For the first
time, non-governmental organizations have been invited to join
this political process of the governments. The regional meeting
in Taipei aimed at coming up with coordinated policies on such
important issues as how best to fight corruption, how
best to promote good governance and how to develop democracy in
countries under totalitarian rule.
Following the drafting of the position papers for the Santiago
conference, the NGO-leaders discussed a new Taiwanese
initiative to set up a “World Forum for Democratization in Asia”.
Dubbed “WFDA”, this project wishes to coordinate the numerous
activities aimed at promoting democracy in the Asian region. According
to the organizers, an inaugural event will be held in July 2005
to advance the democratic agenda in the region.
Finally, Dr. Ronald Meinardus participated in a strategic workshop
aimed at strengthening Democracy Assistance Foundations (DAF)
in Asia. This meeting, also, was hosted by the Taiwan Foundation
for Democracy. TFD was set up one year ago and remains the sole
such institution in the region. While Japan and South Korea have
plans to set up DAFs, it became clear in Taipei that these plans
are still far from being put into practice.
“The eagerness of the Taiwanese friends to assist in spreading
and consolidating democracy is very impressive”, said Dr. Meinardus
after his talks with TFD-President Dr. Michael Kau in Taipei.
“We are all too happy to share our experiences with the
colleagues from Taiwan”, Dr. Meinardus added.
The liberal Foundation has invited TFD-staff members to visit
Manila in the near future so that they may get a first hand impression
of how the Friedrich-Naumann-Foundation’s Philippine project operates
and cooperates with local political partners in an effort to strengthen
democracy in this country.
More on the non-governmental process for the Community of Democracies
The website of the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy is at www.taiwandemocracy.org.tw