Minister Tsai Ching-hsiang (法務部蔡部長清祥);
Director General Hank Weng-jong Leu (法務部調查局呂局長文忠);
Deputy Director Raymond Greene (AIT/T副處長谷立言);
Deputy Representative Yokochi Akira (日本台灣交流協會副代表橫地晃);
Ladies and gentlemen:
Good morning from Taipei!
It is a great honor to attend this opening ceremony for the 2020 Global Cooperation and Training Framework Workshop on Combating COVID-19 Related Crimes. On behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, I would like to extend my warmest welcome to all participants joining us today, both online and in person.
I would also like to thank the Ministry of Justice Investigation Bureau, the American Institute in Taiwan, the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association, and the Australian Office Taipei for making this event happen.
The Global Cooperation and Training Framework, also known as the GCTF, was launched by Taiwan and the United States in 2015. The GCTF has served as a multilateral platform for Taiwan to contribute its expertise to regional responses to emerging global issues. Over the past five years, we have held 27 training workshops on crucial issues in a wide range of areas, including public health, law enforcement, energy security, women’s empowerment, and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. More than 1,100 officials and experts from 61 countries have participated. Even now, during the COVID-19 pandemic, we have managed to hold five virtual GCTF events this year, the present workshop being the sixth.
Today’s event also marks the third time that the GCTF has focused on law enforcement, demonstrating Taiwan’s commitment to combating crimes. In the previous two workshops, we explored issues related to transnational crimes, forensic science, and anticorruption. Today’s discussions will build on the substantial achievements of those workshops to tackle the problem of COVID-19-related crimes.
The workshop comes at the right time, as an unprecedented public health crisis has brought drastic changes around the world, including in the field of law enforcement. Many challenges to law enforcement lie ahead of us, such as misinformation on COVID-19, counterfeit face masks, and the illegal hoarding of personal protective equipment, or PPE.
By implementing early and effective measures to contain the spread of the disease, Taiwan was fortunately able to limit the impact of the pandemic on our citizens’ daily lives. However, viruses and crimes know no borders. As COVID-19 is ravaging the entire world, we are once again reminded of the need for global concerted action. I firmly believe that your participation today will be instrumental in forming a safety net against COVID-19-related crimes, and serve as a stabilizing force in the face of this volatile pandemic.
With that, I would like to thank you all once again for joining this GCTF workshop. As we have gathered a marvelous panel of experts here today, I have no doubt that all of you, no matter where you are, will enjoy productive and fruitful discussions. Thank you!