ALDE Party President Hans van Baalen participated in the closing session of the 13th General Assembly of the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats (CALD).
With the theme, “Hope Among Us: A Virtual Gathering for the Future of Democracy”, the series assembles Liberals and Democrats from Asia and from around the world on 23-27 November to analyse the main challenges for democracies after the COVID-19 pandemic, and to come up with policy recommendations on the way forward.
President van Baalen participated in the closing session after a keynote speech by Leni Robredo, Vice President of the Philippines, and in an international panel including Hakima El Haite, President of Liberal International and Gilbert Noël Ouédraogo, President of the African Liberal Network.
In his intervention, he praised CALD for giving prominence to Taiwan and sharing its experience tackling COVID-19 while respecting individual rights and civil liberties, and also gave his perspective on global political events and also on initiatives to address the pandemic.
🌏👏 A pleasure to participate in the CALD General Assembly.— Hans van Baalen (@hansvanbaalen) November 27, 2020
Liberals have to bold and fully support Taiwan as a successful democracy without hesitation. The fact that President Tsai Ing-wen was invited to open the CALD GA means that the liberal family has taken a firm position! https://t.co/gkRjgLTY1W
The opening session on 23 November featured a keynote speech from Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-Wen who shared her country’s efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. “We also have a Taiwan Model in combating disinformation. That is — a strong, confident democracy, combined with informed citizenry, is its best defence. The Taiwan experience is also a demonstration that democratic values are critical in this important fight against authoritarian forces,” she said.
During the General Assembly, CALD also launched an interactive e-book entitled: “Breathing Democracy: a Playbook”, a collection of stories and insights on the challenges faced by liberals in Southeast and East Asia democracies, and the solutions tried and tested in these trying times.
CALD is a regional network of liberal and democratic political parties and individuals in Asia.