Agreement on Cooperation Between the Ombudsman of Belize and the Control Yuan of the Republic of China – Opening Speech

Opening Remarks
Lionel Arzu, Ombudsman of Belize
Belize Biltmore Best Western Hotel, Belize
November 12, 2015

Dr. Po-Ya Chang, President of Control Yuan
Dr. Jane Chiang, Member of Control Yuan
Members of the visiting delegation
H.E. Benjamin Ho Taiwan Ambassador to Belize
Staff members of Taiwan Embassy
Staff members from the Office of the Ombudsman
Members of the media houses
Invited guests
Ladies and gentlemen

A pleasant good afternoon! It is indeed a great honor to welcome you to this momentous ceremony. This occasion is a very important one because it signals a cooperation agreement between Control Yuan of the Republic of China (Taiwan) and the Ombudsman of Belize. This cooperation is unprecedented in the history of our two countries much so because it is between two Ombudsmen whose function in all societies is not limited to advocating for the voiceless within our midst. It is a noble endeavor which will further cement the already existing strong bonds between our two countries. Furthermore, the most important resource of any nation is its human resource; thus, whatever it takes to protect the human rights of our citizens is a noble thing indeed.

Today, the President of Control Yuan of the Republic of China (Taiwan) and the humble Ombudsman of Belize are signing a Cooperation Agreement that will allow our two countries to share vital information, experience, and expertise in the promotion and protection of human rights. This will be facilitated through the exchange of knowledge, and research on human rights. It is our hope that personnel and experts from both our countries can visit with each other for the exchange of ideas and strategies to protect and preserve human rights and dignity.

The mechanism of action to implement this Cooperation Agreement will be initiated through holding high-level or working –level meetings to share information, practices and knowledge. This will be achieved through a designated contact person for each party who will ensure that the communication line is always open. With adequate communication, we can hardly go wrong and so effective communication is the key. Furthermore, any disputes arising from this cooperation agreement will be amicably resolved through dialogue and compromise. This indeed is the hallmark of the Ombudsman’s job and I believe the same goes for the President of Control Yuan’s job as well. Settling disputes amicably, negotiating and the use of diplomacy are virtues that we both embrace in order to effectively perform our roles in society.

The Ombudsman of Belize is a parliamentary commissioner appointed by the Governor General on the advice of both Houses of the National Assembly. The main function of the office of the Ombudsman is to investigate complaints made by any person or persons. In doing so the Ombudsman uses his own initiative and authority to determine guilt, wrong doing, corruption or any other action that has resulted in injustice, injury or abuse. The Ombudsman ensures that no human being is undignified as less than a person due to religious affiliation, language, race, color or creed. I must confess it is a tough call and it requires a lot of patience but I believe that is why Dr. Po- Ya Chang was appointed the President of the Control Yuan. With the agreement that we are about to sign, I hope to expand my knowledge and learn from the Hon. Dr. Chang.

I believe that this occasion marks the beginning of a better way to understanding each other as two friendly countries because the signing of this cooperation agreement is shrouded in human element.

I feel honored to be a part of this unprecedented agreement and I believe this will open an avenue for further cooperation in areas beyond the scope of this agreement.

I would like to welcome Dr. Chang and her delegation to our beautiful country, Belize by the Caribbean Sea. Belizeans are hospitable people and we willingly welcome everyone and share our various cultures, dances, food and languages. I hope you will take some time out from your busy schedule to tour parts of Belize and enjoy the unique Belizean hospitality that we offer, and do take back pleasant memories with you when you all return home. I pray God’s guidance upon each of you present here and do have a safe and blessed evening. Once again thank you!!!!!!