May 31, 2019
Remarks by Suzanne Lawrence
the Special Advisor for Children’s Issues for the Department of State
at the IPCA Joint Commission Press Conference
May 31, 2019
(As Prepared for Delivery)
Good afternoon. I am delighted to join our AIT colleagues and our Taiwan counterparts here in Taipei to mark this important occasion: the signing of our Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation on International Parental Child Abduction.
This Memorandum of Understanding is the culmination of several years of discussion and collaboration between the Office of Children’s Issues, the American Institute in Taiwan, and the Taiwan authorities, many of whom join us here today.
On April 12, I had the pleasure of attending the official signing in Washington with AIT Managing Director John Norris and TECRO Deputy Representative Louis Huang. And today I am in Taiwan to participate in the inaugural meeting of the Joint Commission on International Parental Child Abductions, established by the MOU to provide a twice-yearly forum for the United States and Taiwan, through AIT and TECRO, to collaborate on resolving abduction issues.
This afternoon’s meeting was one of many important milestones in the U.S.-Taiwan relationship. Our strong people-to-people ties bind our two societies together.
Every year, we see greater numbers of travelers between the United States and Taiwan. While we view this as progress, we must also address the risks that accompany increased travel and the greater interconnectedness between our societies.
Parental child abduction occurs all over the world. Acknowledging this, AIT and TECRO further invested in our friendship by creating safeguards to protect our communities from international parental child abductions.
We are so grateful that our dedicated counterparts in Taiwan have worked with us to establish this forum to better protect the children and families in both of our societies.
Today, both sides reaffirmed our commitment to combatting international child abduction, established clear lines of communication for when abduction issues arise, and examined potential opportunities to work collaboratively on this issue in the future.
We look forward to deepening our cooperation with Taiwan on this and many other issues of significance in the coming years.