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President Tsai attends RTI's International Conference on Achieving Sustainability in Asia-Pacific
President Tsai attends RTI's International Conference on Achieving Sustainability in Asia-Pacific

On the morning of September 27, President Tsai Ing-wen attended the International Conference on Achieving Sustainability in Asia-Pacific, a centerpiece of the 90th anniversary of Radio Taiwan International (RTI). She explained that year by year, Taiwan is getting closer to achieving its sustainable development goals. The president also expressed hope that in the future we can integrate the efforts of industry, government, academia, research institutions, and NGOs to continue to promote sustainable development at home and abroad, so that Taiwan can make even greater contributions to the world.

In remarks, President Tsai stated that this year marks RTI's 90th anniversary, and it has chosen to make "sustainability" its focal point. RTI also teamed up with the UK-based Association for International Broadcasting (AIB) to organize the International Conference on Achieving Sustainability in Asia-Pacific. The president wished RTI continued progress and development, and offered a warm welcome to the distinguished guests from afar for the celebration.

The president noted that this is the first time AIB held an annual event in Taiwan. AIB's staunch insistence that media members promote the spirit of freedom, equality, and truth, and its long-term support for Taiwan, have allowed RTI to let Taiwan's voice continue to be heard through greater international cooperation. She then expressed her sincere gratitude to AIB.

Looking back over the past nine decades, President Tsai pointed out, RTI's development has been a microcosm of Taiwan's modern history. Over the years, RTI has experienced organizational changes and progress that parallel Taiwan's democratization.

The president further stated that RTI was one of Taiwan's first media outlets to move onto the Internet and mobile devices. And in recent years, RTI has concentrated on giving its foreign language programming a multimedia makeover. On the diplomatic front, RTI continues to help our diplomatic allies set up and maintain their own broadcasting systems, and engages in cooperation and exchange with many of the world's most important media outlets. And through its Southeast Asian language programs, RTI has become an important platform for our government to promote its New Southbound Policy while also providing services to new immigrants.

So President Tsai thanked everyone at RTI for their efforts, and expressed hope that RTI will continue to play its role as Taiwan's link to the world and help further expand Taiwan's international participation. To do that, she said, the conference taking place over the following two days is the best possible start. In the face of today's challenges to global sustainable development, scholars, experts, media professionals, and political figures from home and abroad were all gathered at the congress to put their heads together and figure out a way forward.

For over two years, President Tsai said, Taiwan has put a lot of work into implementing the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Two years ago, we set up the Executive Yuan's Office of Energy and Carbon Reduction that meets regularly to assess greenhouse gas reduction figures. And last year, we issued our first Voluntary National Review, showing our determination to promote sustainable development.

The president stated that our National Council for Sustainable Development has also prepared a draft proposal for Taiwan's sustainable development to ensure that our policies are aligned with our goals. Year by year, she said, Taiwan is getting closer to achieving those goals. We are actively creating a new economic model, and through our "5+2 industrial innovation program," we are developing solar power and offshore wind power to spur energy and industrial sector transformation. Our Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Program also includes a special budget to develop green energy and accelerate industrial innovation.

President Tsai further stated that Taiwan's efforts include both the public and private sectors, and just last month, an Alliance for Sustainable Development Goals was established. The Alliance creates an exchange platform for industry, government, academia, research institutions, and NGOs that will strengthen our promotion and implementation efforts.

But Taiwan is not just promoting sustainable development at home, the president emphasized, we are also helping our diplomatic allies face the challenges of climate change. Our conviction is simple: The planet belongs to everyone. That means sustainability for Taiwan alone is not true sustainability. And likewise, sustainable development that excludes Taiwan is not real global sustainability. So we will stand by our beliefs, she said, and continue our efforts.

In closing, President Tsai thanked everyone once again for their support so that Taiwan can make even greater contributions to global sustainable development. She believes that the success of this conference will encourage the media to come to the fore and make the public see the importance of sustainable development issues. The president also expressed hope that everyone will find their exchanges over the next two days productive and rewarding. The participants' valuable insights, she said, will be a valuable policy reference for Taiwan's sustainable development.

Among those attending the event were RTI Chairperson Lu Ping (路平), RTI President Shao Li-chung (邵立中), and AIB Chief Executive Officer Simon Spanswick.

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