2021 GCTF Virtual Conference on Defending Democracy Through Media Literacy III

Remarks by MOFA Deputy Minister Harry Ho-jen Tseng for vGCTF on Defending Democracy through Media Literacy III

Distinguished guests;
Ladies and gentlemen:

Welcome to the Global Cooperation and Training Framework virtual conference on Defending Democracy through Media Literacy.

This is the 13th and last GCTF conference of 2021. I would like to thank the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy for organizing this event. My appreciation also goes to the American Institute in Taiwan, the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association, the British Office, and the Slovak Economic and Cultural Office, which are serving as cohosts.

Since its establishment in 2015, the GCTF has been steadily expanding and now boasts Taiwan, the United States, Japan, and Australia as full partners. Through the GCTF, we are upholding our commitment to multilateral cooperation and greater prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region.

Today’s topic, which we have discussed at two previous GCTF events, represents one of the most complex challenges for democratic societies worldwide. Expressing opinions without interference and having vibrant public debates are at the core of democracy. However, these elements, and the openness of democratic societies, are being exploited through disinformation and cyberattacks aimed at undermining faith in democratic institutions and electoral processes.

This situation has grown worse since the onset of COVID-19. The rapid spread of disinformation has brought great challenges to our governments and societies. Among the problems we have seen is an attempt by some to avoid responsibility by fabricating stories about the disease’s origin.

As we fight against COVID-19 and false information, the people of Taiwan firmly believe that openness, transparency, and international cooperation are crucial to enhancing democratic resilience.

More nations are waking up to the threat of expanding authoritarianism. Taiwan stands on the front lines of democracies worldwide and is subject to the incessant harassment of disinformation and cyberattacks. We are, therefore, more than willing to share our experience in promoting media literacy with our fellow democracies.

Through multilateral platforms such as the GCTF, as well as forums held by like-minded nations, Taiwan will continue to work with global partners to defend our common values.

In closing, I wish this event great success. Thank you!