Taipei, Aug. 5 (CNA) Over 100 dignitaries from 17 countries are in Taiwan for a three-day gathering of the Asian-Pacific Parliamentarians' Union (APPU) that opened on Monday and will discuss issues related to trade and the marine environment, among others.
The gathering opened Monday afternoon at the Grand Hotel in Taipei with a closed-door meeting of the members of the APPU Council and was to be followed in the evening by a welcome dinner hosted by Taiwan's Legislative Yuan.
The main event will be Tuesday's APPU General Assembly, which is being held for the 10th time in Taiwan, Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), a co-organizer of the event, said in a statement. It was last held in Taiwan in 2014.
The theme of Tuesday's General Assembly meeting, to be chaired by Taiwan Legislative Speaker Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全), will be "Ocean Democracy and a Sustainable Indo-Pacific Region."
According to MOFA, the meeting's agenda will cover such topics as ocean waste management, marine ecology and conservation, oceanic cultural innovation, low-carbon and sustainable homeland initiatives, and the strengthening of economic cooperation.
More than 100 dignitaries from 17 countries, including Japan, New Zealand, Australia, Germany, and Taiwan's six Pacific diplomatic allies, are attending the event. A total of 48 of them are legislators in their respective countries.
Aside from Palau, Taiwan's five other Pacific allies are being represented at the event by their parliamentary speaker.
The APPU was first organized in Tokyo in 1965 as the Asian Parliamentarians' Union (APU) through the initiative of parliamentarians from Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Thailand and the Republic of China, commonly known as Taiwan.
Their goal was to secure peace and prosperity in Asia by achieving and preserving freedom and democracy.
The organization was renamed in 1980 to accommodate Pacific nations as members.