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President Chen Addresses the Opening of the 31st Congress of the World League for Freedom and Democracy

Taipei, Jan. 18 (CNA) President Chen Shui-bian said Thursday that all non-government organizations (NGOs) around the world should strengthen cooperation to contribute to global peace, prosperity, freedom and democracy.

Chen made the appeal at the opening of the 31st Congress of the World League for Freedom and Democracy (WLFD). The meeting was also held to mark the Jan. 23 World Freedom Day.

Noting that promoting global NGO cooperation is the theme of this year's WLFD congress, Chen urged all participants to present proposals to help realize this lofty goal and contribute to world peace, freedom and democracy.

Chen lauded the WLFD for its outstanding contribution to fighting against totalitarian, despotic and tyrannical rule and promoting freedom, democracy and human rights over past decades.

The president said he looks forward to seeing all WLFD members will work even harder and cooperate closer with other NGOs in the new century for the common well-being of all mankind.

Chen went on to say that just before the dawn of the 21st century, the people of Taiwan used their ballots to complete the Republic of China's first democratic transfer of power between different political parties last year. "The move has set a model for the development of democracy for global Chinese societies and added a brilliant example for the world's Third Wave democratic movement," Chen noted.

He further said that the ROC, with its democratic achievements and economic strength, should have equal opportunities to take part in international organizations and activities. Because of mainland China's opposition, Chen said, the ROC has often faced unfair treatment in the international community. In the face of complicated international situation and various challenges, Chen said, the ROC government will never be daunted and will instead reinforce cooperation with its diplomatic allies and actively take part in international activities, including those sponsored by NGOs, to upgrade its international profile.

"We'll also do our utmost to forge friendship and cooperative ties with countries which do not recognize the ROC and promote global harmony and peace through cultural exchanges and economic cooperation," he pledged. 

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