President Lee Teng-hui personally signed his support today for the "Get Up Sign Up" campaign launched by Amnesty International (AI) to promote human rights.
The declaration on which President Lee became a signatory reads as follows: "Human rights are not Asian or European, but universal values. Observance of human rights is an important hallmark of a modern civilized country."
To show the resolution of the Republic of China government in pursuing and protecting human rights, Secretary-General to the President Huang Kun-huei, Secretary-General of the National Security Council Ding Mou-shih and Foreign Minister Jason Hu also threw their support behind the campaign by signing the declaration.
Accompanied by AI Taiwan branch's Chairman Lin Min-tse and Secretary-General Tsai Ming-tien, Po Yang, honorary chairman of the branch, met with President Lee at the Presidential Office this morning. They presented to the President the declaration which the President signed immediately.
During the conversation with his visitors, President Lee reiterated his firm stance on human rights protection. He said that human rights are innate rights with one standard that is beyond boundaries and applicable to the whole world. He said that the ROC government has been dedicated to protecting human rights for many years, and that the government's continued efforts in this area will assure even better success in making the Universal Declaration of Human Rights a reality.
Amnesty International initiated this worldwide signing campaign on December 10, 1997, to seek signatures of world leaders, celebrities and the general public in demonstration of their support for the campaign's goal: Each signatory "will do everything in [his/her] power to ensure that the rights in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights become a reality throughout the world." AI Taiwan branch is responsible for promoting this movement in the Republic of China. On December 10th of this year, the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, AI headquarters will present in Paris all the signatures collected around the world to the United Nations for the U.N.'s display and permanent preservation. To date, more than 10 world leaders have thrown their support behind the campaign. Included among them is U.S. President Bill Clinton who reiterated late last year that advancement of human rights must always be the cornerstone of U.S. foreign policy. Russia has also announced that 1998 is its year for human rights.