Remarks by MOFA Deputy Minister Harry Ho-jen Tseng for vGCTF on Sustainable Materials Management Solutions to Marine Debris
November 3, 2020
Ladies and gentlemen:
On behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, it is my great pleasure to welcome all of you to the virtual GCTF Workshop on Sustainable Material Management Solutions to Marine Debris.
I would like to thank the Ocean Affairs Council and the Industrial Technology Research Institute for organizing this training program. Our appreciation also goes to our good partners – American Institute in Taiwan and Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association, as well as the Netherlands Office Taipei for the very first time to join us as co-host to this event.
Today’s event marks the 29th GCTF workshop. Global Cooperation and Training Framework, also known as GCTF, was jointly launched by Taiwan and the United States in 2015. For the past 5 years, with more than 1,000 officials and experts from nearly 70 countries participating in GCTF workshops, the GCTF has served as a platform for Taiwan to share our experience and expertise with the region and other part of the world, and to promote cooperation on addressing key global issues, such as public health, women empowerment and countering disinformation.
As we proudly celebrate its 5th anniversary this year, we are committed to taking GCTF to the next level. The GCTF Secretariat has been established to enhance program management and build an alumni network. We also work on to expand the issue areas of cooperation.
The topic of today’s discussion is one of the new areas under the GCTF that effects all of us. Marine litter impacts the health of the world’s coastal areas, oceans, and waterways. It undermines marine biodiversity and navigation safety, and it also poses an underlying threat to human health. Marine debris is a pollutant without borders, so naturally, the problem cannot be resolved alone by single country or organization.
Taiwan is surrounded by ocean. Throughout history, the ocean has been an integral part of Taiwan’s economy, culture and way of life. This puts us in a particularly vulnerable position in the global marine debris crisis. In recent years, the government has adopted a cross agency approach, working hand in hand with research institutions, civil societies and even private businesses to address this issue. We are more than willing to contribute our experience and expertise with you all in tackling the marine debris problem with the international community.
Once again, thank you for taking part in today’s online event. I am delighted to see an impressive lineup of expert speakers today. Let me wish you a successful virtual meeting. Thank you.