The Parliamentary Assembly has served as a beacon to the world for over 70 years on behalf of democracy, human rights and the rule of law. Therefore, several projects have been launched for closer contact and co-operation with numerous non-member countries and self-governing entities in and outside of Europe.
As a result, countries like Canada, the Holy See, Japan, Mexico and the United States have enjoyed observer status with the Council of Europe and our Assembly. The Assembly may also grant Special Guest Status to parliaments of European non-member applicant-States and the Assembly may accord Partnership for Democracy status to the parliaments of non-member States of the Council of Europe. At present, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Morocco and the Palestinian National Council enjoy this kind of status.
Numerous non-European countries or self-governing entities have over the years participated in conferences on subjects related to core callings of the Council of Europe and its Assembly. The thought is that democracies constantly have to stand shoulder to shoulder in defending essential values.
However, Taiwan, has rarely if ever been invited to participate in Council of Europe or Assembly activities. This is despite the fact that Taiwan is a fully-indeed an exemplary-self-governing democracy that is utterly respectful of human rights and the rule of law. Taiwan has announced an interest in developing further links with our Assembly.
In conclusion, the Assembly is called upon to establish some form of channel for regular working contacts with the Parliament of Taiwan. This would permit exchanges of views of mutual concern and interest, and in addition promote democracy in the wider East Asian region.