Taichung to host 2019 Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy

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Taichung Mayor Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Bruno Kaufmann and Joe Mathews, co-presidents of the forum, in the city on Thursday to announce the decision. (Photo courtesy of CNA)

Taipei, March 1 (CNA) Taichung City has been chosen to host the 2019 Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy, an annual forum that brings together international experts, activists and government officials to discuss participatory democracy, human rights and other issues.

Taichung Mayor Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Bruno Kaufmann and Joe Mathews, co-presidents of the forum, in the city on Thursday to announce the decision.

Lin stressed the efforts that Taichung has made to promote direct democracy, saying the city has promoted participatory budgeting since 2015, allowing citizens to discuss and propose projects deserving of public funding.

Taichung has also established the country’s first Youth Affairs Committee to involve young people in policy making and set up an international NGO center in Wufeng District to keep in touch with global NGO networks, he said.

The mayor also highlighted Taiwan’s democratic achievements in recent years, noting that a 2018 Freedom House report gave Taiwan top marks for its freedom rating, political rights and civil liberties.

The forum, created in 2008, has been held in countries such as Switzerland, South Korea, the United States, Uruguay, Tunisia and Spain.

It will take place in Rome in September this year, and is expected to focus on topics including referendums, digital democracy and human rights.

(By Christie Chen)