World League for Freedom and Democracy

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Official logo of the World League for Freedom and Democracy.

The World League for Freedom and Democracy (WLFD) is an international non-governmental organization and a member of the United Nations Department of Public Information. The WLFD has more than a hundred national chapters around the world. On the stated principle "to advocate freedom, democracy and human rights as well as to support the cause of world peace", the WLFD states that it works in a joint endeavor to pursue freedom, democracy, and human rights for all mankind without distinction as to race, sex, language, religion, nationality, political affiliation, or occupation to preserve world peace and prosperity.

Establishment[edit]

The WLFD is descended from the Asian People's Anti-Communist League (APACL, now known as Asian Pacific League for Freedom and Democracy). To cope with the growing tension around the world, Chiang Kai-shek of the Republic of China (ROC) on Taiwan, Elpidio Quirino of the Republic of the Philippines, and Syngman Rhee of the Republic of Korea founded the APACL in Jinhae, the wartime capital city of the Republic of Korea (ROK) on June 15, 1954. Its first general conference was held in that city and was host to advocate and support the causes of anti-communism, anti-totalitarianism as well as anti-authoritarianism. The other participating states, including Vietnam, Thailand, Okinawa, Hong Kong, and Macao, also sent representatives.

Having founded the APACL, the government of the Republic of China prepared to organize the second conference and chose Taipei City as the place to set up the Republic of China Chapter of the APACL on July 1, 1954. Ku Cheng-kang, President of the Chinese Refugees Relief Association of the Republic of China, was designated as the first president of this Chapter. Over the years, successors to the presidency of the Republic of China Chapter are Clement C.P. Chang, Chao Tze-chi, Yao Eng-chi, and Tseng Yung-chuan. As of 2013 the president was Yao Eng-chi, former Vice President of the ROC Legislative Yuan (Parliament) and also Senior Advisor to President of the Republic of China on Taiwan.

In 1966 the memberships of the APACL had increased to 27, in Asia, Australia, and Africa. At its 12th Conference in Seoul on November 3, 1966, a fifteen-member committee was formed to discuss the expansion of this organization. The committee eventually decided to set up a new anti-communist organization, including the APACL, regional organizations, and an international anti-communist organization. On November 7, 1966, the delegates adopted the “Charter of the World Anti-Communist League” at the plenary session. It also resolved that the Republic of China Chapter was in charge of organizing the first General Conference.

The Charter of the World Anti-Communist League (WACL), with 8 chapters and 32 articles, came into effect on April 1, 1967. It stated that the WACL should immediately set up its regional organizations in six regions: Asia (now known as Asian Pacific League for Freedom and Democracy), Middle East (now known as Middle East Solidarity Council), Africa (now known as the African Organization for Freedom and Democracy), and Europe (now known as the European Council for World Freedom), North America (now known as the North American Federation for Freedom and Democracy), and Latin America (now known as the Federation of Latin American Democratic Organization). The organization in the Asian region was the main force to push for the mission of the World League.

The first General Conference of the WACL was held in Taipei, ROC, on September 25, 1967. Chiang Kai-shek, the then President of the ROC, and Gen. Kim Chung-Yul, President of the APACL Korea Chapter, attended and gave their speeches. Ku Cheng-kang, President of the Republic of China Chapter of the APACL, was elected by acclamation Chairman of the First General Conference of the WACL and also the first Council Chairman. More than 230 delegates from 64 countries and regions as well as 12 anti-communist organizations and observers participated in this conference. During this conference, 43 countries and 4 international anti-communist organizations became Regular Members while 11 organizations became Associate Members.

The second General Conference of the WACL was held in Saigon of Vietnam on December 16, 1968. Ku was elected Honorary Chairman of the WACL. Phan Huy Quat, former Prime Minister of Vietnam, was the Conference Chairman and also the Council Chairman.

Rename[edit]

To adjust to the worldwide political changes and to strive for recruiting more people to join the fight for freedom and democracy, the WACL held its 22nd General Conference in Brussels of Belgium on July 23, 1990, and the delegates resolved that this organization should be renamed as the “World League for Freedom and Democracy” (WLFD). This resolution came into effect on January 1, 1991.

Leadership[edit]

In August 21, 1991, with the new name, the WLFD held its 23rd General Conference in San Jose, Costa Rica. Rafael Angel Calderon Fournier, President of Costa Rica, and vice presidents from six countries in Latin America, gave speeches. The conference passed a resolution to set up the Presidency of League, a new post to highlight the leading center of the WLFD and also to take the responsibility to organize WLFD activities. Chao Tze-chi, President of the Republic of China Chapter of WLFD, was elected as the first President of the WLFD, and re-elected in 1995. U Chae-sung of the ROK was named as the Secretary-General.

According to the charter of the WLFD, the President of the League shall be “the Leader of the League” and shall represent the League. This person shall supervise the performance and development of the League in compliance with the charter. On January 19 of 2006, the WLFD adopted its charter amendment in the 34th General Conference. According to the Amendment, the President of the League shall be “the top official of the League” and shall represent the League, and shall supervise the performance and development of the League in compliance with the charter.

According to the Charter of the WLFD, the President of the League shall be elected by and from the members of the Executive Board of the League. The result of the election shall be reported to the General Conference. The President shall hold office for a term of four years and shall be eligible for re-election. In October 2000, all members of the Executive Board approved Yao Eng-chi, President of the WLFD ROC Chapter, as the third President of the League during the Executive Board Meeting in New York City, U.S. The Executive Board also amended the charter to add several positions such as four vice presidents and two deputy secretary-generals. The decision made by the Executive Board was also confirmed by the members at the 31st WLFD General Conference in Taipei, ROC, on January 13, 2001. President Yao Eng-chi was re-elected as President of the League at the 33rd WLFD General Conference in Melbourne, Australia, on December 20, 2003. Ger Yeong-kuang was named as Secretary-General of the League. On August 1 of 2008, Ger resigned and was succeeded by Hsieh Wen-huang, Parliamentary Assistant to Vice President Tseng Yung-chuan of the ROC Legislative Yuan (Parliament). Hsieh resigned; Chou Yujen’s was nominated to replace him on January 23, 2013.

ROC Chapter[edit]

The ROC Chapter is one of the founding members of the WLFD and also the leading player as a national chapter that helps the WLFD to advocate the freedom movement. This chapter consists more than 300 civil organizations from all walks of society in the Republic of China such as national political parties, city councils or county assemblies, academies, cultural institutions, religious groups, agricultural units, labor unions, businessmen unions, youth groups, Chinese compatriots unions, and women groups. The ROC Chapter is in charge of major decisions, place to hold conferences, and activity arrangements. The ROC Chapter was not only one of the founding members of the League, but also the leading force to push for the WLFD missions. Yao Eng-chi, former Vice President of the ROC Legislative Yuan (Parliament) and also President of the World League for Freedom and Democracy, is the current President of the ROC Chapter.

General purposes[edit]

  1. To spread to all parts of the world the ideals of freedom and democracy and to encourage and support their universal application;
  2. To promote respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all peoples;
  3. To be an agent and coordinating center for international cooperation in economic development and educational and cultural exchanges designed to contribute to social progress and better standards of life; and
  4. To combine staunch efforts, against aggression, imperialism, totalitarianism, and authoritarianism of whatever form, and pretensions whenever and wherever any of such evil forces appears.

Organization structure[edit]

The General Conference, vested with supreme authority in the league, shall be held once a year in a Regular National Member. The conference venue shall be applied by the Regular Members first and decided by the Executive Board Committee. The members, known as chapters of the league, shall organize the general conference with the assistance of the league. Any freedom-and-democracy loving people, political leaders, and scholars will be invited to participate in this freedom movement.

Membership[edit]

According to the charter, national, regional or international organizations that subscribe to the purposes of the League are eligible for membership. Membership shall consist of Regular Members with voting rights and Associate Members without voting rights. Regular membership shall comprise two categories: 1) An organization dedicated to the cause of freedom and democracy recognized by the Executive Board Committee as representing a country or territory; 2) An international organization dedicated to the cause of freedom and democracy and composed of two or more branches not in the same country. Such an organization may be granted regular membership, provided that any of its branches shall not be accepted as a Regular Member. Youth groups in all parts of the world, dedicated to the cause of freedom and democracy and united in a duly organized body, may be accepted as an international organization. Other organizations dedicated to the cause of freedom and democracy may be accepted as Associate Members.

All Regular Members shall have equal rights and obligations in the League. While a country or territory is represented in the league by one organization, any number of organizations from the same country or territory may be accepted as Associate Members. Associate Members has the same rights and obligation as Regular Members except for voting rights.

Any application for membership shall be submitted to the Secretariat of the league. The Executive Board shall consider the application and make recommendations to the General Conference. Any decision on membership shall be made by majority of the Executive Board members and approved by majority of the Conference.

Major activities[edit]

On September 25, 1967, WACL held its first General Conference in Taipei, ROC. Chiang Kai-shek, President of the ROC, attended and gave a speech. Ku Cheng-kang was elected as the Conference Chairman, and also the first Council Chairman. Jose Figueres F., former President of Costa Rica, was elected Vice Chairman of the Council. Jose Ma Hernandez, then Secretary-General of the APACL and also Secretary-General of the Philippines Chapter, was unanimously elected as Secretary-General of the WACL. More than 230 delegates representing 64 countries, 12 international anti-communist organizations, and observer units participated in this conference.

On December 16, 1968, the 2nd WACL General Conference was held in Saigon, Vietnam. Nguyen Van Thieu, President of Vietnam, was present to give his speech at this conference. Two resolutions were passed by the members that the “123 Freedom Day” should be renamed as “World Freedom Day” and “123 Freedom Day Movement” should be enlarged to “World Freedom Day Movement” as the emblem for all mankind to fight for the causes of freedom and democracy. “123 Freedom Day” was celebrated by the ROC Chapter of the APACL on January 23 every year.

On December 3, 1969, the 3rd WACL General Conference was held in Bangkok, Thailand. Field Marshal Thanom Kittikachorn, Prime Minister of Thailand, chaired the opening ceremony and delivered his speech. On December 5, the Conference announced to set up “World Youth Anti-Communist League” (WYACL). More than 40 youth delegates from 12 countries attended this conference and unanimously decided to set up the Secretariat in Korea Freedom Center, the Republic of Korea. Cha Hyung-kwong, Youth Delegate of the Republic of Korea, was elected as the first Secretary-General. The Participating countries were Canada, the ROC, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), India, Japan, ROK, Norway, the Philippines, Sweden, Thailand, U.S.A., and Vietnam. The resolution of “A Plan for Promoting the World Freedom Day Movement” was also approved by the Conference that each member unit of the WLFD should sponsor and conduct “World Freedom Day Week” celebrations in their chapter-located cities one week before or after the “World Freedom Day” to show the WLFD’s determination to expand the pursuit of freedom and democracy worldwide.

On September 15, 1970, the 4th WACL General Conference was held in Tokyo, Japan. Eisaku Sato, Prime Minister of Japan, delivered his speech at the opening ceremony. Juanita Castro, Sister of Cuba Communist leader Fidel Castro, accused the government for ignoring the basic rights of their enslaved people. To meet the need for promoting the WACL Movement, the Conference adopted a resolution to amend the Charter, revising the quota of Executive Board from 9 to 13 to also have delegates from regional organizations, the World Youth Anti-Communist League, and Anti-Bolshevik Bloc of Nations (ABN). The Conference Chair proposed that Ku Cheng-kang, Honorary Chairman of the WACL, take the position permanently. The proposal was adopted by the General Conference. The location of the WACL Secretariat was still at the Korea Freedom Center in Seoul, Republic of Korea. Resolutions such as “Strategies for Attaining the Victory on Freedom in the 1970s” and “Unity of World Youths in pursuit of Human’s Promising Future” were also approved by the Conference.

On July 21, 1971, the 5th WACL General Conference was held in Quezon City, the Philippines. Ferdinand E. Marcos, President of the Philippines, delivered his speech at the opening ceremony. The Conference adopted several resolutions such as “Urging the U.S. President Nixon to Cancel Trip to the Communist Country”, “Unity of the World Righteous Forces to Defend the UN Charter, Protection of Mass Media from Manipulation by Pro-Communism Forces”, and “The 6th WACL General Conference in Mexico City of Mexico, WACL•APACL Joint Executive Board Meeting in Washington, D.C., U.S.A.”

On August 25, 1972, the 6th WACL General Conference was held in Mexicon City. It was the first time that the WACL held its conference outside the Asian countries, filling the conference with international spirit worldwide. This conference was seen as the milestone of the WACL movements since the League never had any staunch anti-communist country to hold such a large-scale rally against communism. It also fully showed the WACL's influence in Latin America and to the world for Mexican president approved to have the conference publicly taken place in the local city and international new agencies rushed to report on this event. Most importantly, this conference approved to set up the WACL's second regional organization, “Latin American Anti-Communist Confederation” (now known as Federation of Latin American Democratic Organization, FEDAL).

On August 29, 1973, the WACL was going to hold its 7th General Conference in London, the United Kingdom. However, due to the pressure given from the Communist China, the British Government rejected to give visas to Ku Cheng-kang, Honorary Chairman of the WACL, and the ROC delegates. In place of the General Conference, Geoffrey Stewart-Smith, British MP and President of the UK Chapter, presided the WACL European regional conference with only European participants appearing.

On April 8, 1974, the 7th WACL General Conference was held in Washington, D.C., U.S. Gen. Fred Schlafly, President of the U.S. Chapter, was the conference chairman. Bruce Herschensohn, Deputy Special Assistant to President Nixon, Richard H. Ichord, Chairman of the House Internal Security Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, Gen. Anastasio Somoza Delayle, former President of Nicaragua, Mme. Suzanne Labin, Chair of the International Conference on Political Warfare of the Soviet, and Yaroslav Stetsko, former Prime Minister of Ukraine and also Chair of the Anti-Bolshevik Bloc of Nations, delivered their speeches in this event. International organizations such as “European Freedom Council”, “Swiss Research Center on Asia”, “Lebanon National League” and “Khmer League for Freedom” were approved to join the WACL as National Chapters, while “Bulgarian Liberation Movement” was adopted as International Organization. A resolution was also made to present the Special Award to the ROC President Chiang Kai-shek at the WACL Rally on April 11.

On April 23, 1975, the 8th WACL General Conference was held in Rio de Jeneiro, Brazil, and Carlo Barbieri Filho, President of the Brazil Chapter, was the conference chairman. More than 300 delegates from 64 countries and 15 international organizations participated in this conference. The scale of this conference was larger than ever. The Middle East Solidarity Council (MESC), the WACL third regional organization was approved to set up.

On May 1, 1976, the 9th WACL General Conference was held in Seoul, the Republic of Korea. The 22nd APACL General Conference held its opening ceremony jointly with the WACL. Park Chung Hee, President of the Republic of Korea, sent text telegram to appeal that the biggest factor contributing to preventing communist aggression and ensuring national security was to strengthen people’s mutual relations and unity.

In 1976, North American WACL Regional Organization (NARWACL, now known as North American Federation for Freedom and Democracy), the fourth Regional Organization of the WACL, was set up in Washington, D.C., U.S.

On April 18, 1977, the 10th WACL General Conference was held in Taipei, the Republic of China. The 23rd APACL General Conference held its opening ceremony jointly with the WACL. Yen Chia-kan, President of the ROC, was the keynote speaker while Mario Augusto Sandoval Alarcon, Vice President of Guatemala, and Paik Too-chin, Chairman of the Yusinjeonguhoe (Political Renovation Association) of the Republic of Korea, delivered speeches as guest speakers. 52 resolutions were approved after a five-day discussions, including “Human rights movement and anti-communism movement go hand-in-hand”, “The ideology, political system, life style under communism is at variance with human nature”, “The notion of coexistence advocated by the communists has brought enormous disaster to the free world”, and “The free world must not be deceived by the seemingly reconciliatory strategy of the communists”. More than 350 participants from 71 countries and 15 international organizations were present throughout the conference.

On April 26, 1978, the WACL African members held a ceremony in Washington D.C., U.S., to celebrate the WACL’s newly established regional organization, “African Organization for Freedom and Democracy” (AOFD). 13 delegates from Liberia, Lesotho, Sierra Leone, Kenya, Ivory Coast, Swaziland, Malawi, Togo, Mauritius, Upper Volta (now known as Burkina Faso), Morocco, Ghana, and Nigeria, participated in this ceremony. Nathan C. Ross, Representative of Liberia, was elected as the chair and Bereng A. Sekhonyana, Vice Minister of the Lesotho Agricultural Ministry, was elected as the secretary-general. The Secretariat was located in Maseru, Lesotho. The AOFD is the fifth regional organization of the WACL.

On April 28, 1978, the 11th WACL General Conference was held in Washington, D.C., U.S. Roger Pearson, President of the U.S. Chapter, presided over the conference. More than 440 delegates from 68 countries and 30 international organizations attended this conference. The numbers of participating persons and units had reached a record high in the history of the WACL general conferences. Resolutions passed by the Conference were “Urging all the Free Nations to Strive for Introduction of Concepts about Freedom and Human Rights to Peoples behind the Iron Curtain so as to encourage their rise against totalitarian rule and for freedom and human rights”, and “Urging the US Government to Defend the Security of the Asian-Pacific Region”.

On February 3, 1979, the WACL set up its 6th regional organization in Copenhagen, Denmark. More than 30 delegates from 12 countries (Belgium, Denmark, France, West Germany, Greek, Italy, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, and Switzerland) participated in this conference. The Conference adopted the charter of this European regional organization, electing Cdt. Georges A. Rombouts, Delegate from the WACL Belgium Chapter, as the chairman, Theodor Oberlander, Delegate from the WACL West Germany Chapter, as the vice chair, and Henning Jensen, Delegate from the WACL Denmark Chapter, as the secretary-general. The executive board consisted of five nations such as France, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, and Switzerland. On November 14 of 1979, the WACL Executive Board Committee adopted a resolution during the meeting in Asuncion, Paraguay, that this regional organization would be named as “WACL Council for Europe” (now known as “European Council for World Freedom”) once it gained membership in other seven European countries.

On April 23, 1979, the 12th WACL General Conference was held in Asuncion, Paraguay. Having the sixth regional organization set up on February 3 of 1979, it was the first time that the WACL conference was held with foundation of the six organizations. More than 410 participants from 80 countries and 103 units were present throughout the conference. Juan Manuel Frutos, Delegate from the WACL Paraguay Chapter, was the conference chairman. Resolutions were adopted by the Conference such as “Discard of Uniting with the Chinese Communists against Soviet Threat”, “Safeguard Human’s Freedom and Democracy”, and “In Support of Enslaved People behind the Iron Curtain to Fight for Freedom, Democracy, and Human Rights”.

On November 20, 1979, the Asian-Pacific Youth Anti-Communist League (APYACL) held its inauguration in Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S. Ku Cheng-kang, Honorary Chairman of the WACL, attended to present his speech.

On May 31, 1980, the 2nd General Conference of “African Organization for Freedom and Democracy” (AOFD) was held in Rabat, Morocco. Delegates from 12 countries (Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Swaziland, and Upper Volta) attended this gathering and Nathan C. Ross, a Liberian delegate, was the chairman. As the conference theme was “Freedom for All Mankind”, the chair urged a unity from all African countries to stop the communists from penetration and expansion into this region.

On July 25, 1980, the 13th WACL General Conference was held in Geneva, Switzerland. As it was the first time for this league to hold its anti-communist conference in Europe and the conference venue was in Geneva, which was known as “international city”, this event was highly recognized by the international community. 253 participants from 89 countries and 102 member units showed up at this conference. Pierre Schifferli, President of the WACL Switzerland Chapter and also a well-known lawyer, was the conference chairman. The conference approved resolutions that free nations should “take effective strategies on Moscow’s invasion of Afghanistan” and free nations such as the United States, Japan, and West Europe should realize their supplement of military and technology to Communist China may cause serious consequences. The Conference rejected applications from any anti-communist groups that get involved in fascist’s activities to clearly demolish the slander that the WACL was pro-fascism.

On May 11, 1981, the 3rd AOFD General Conference was held in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. Delegates from 14 countries (Angola, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Mauritania, Mauritius, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Swaziland, Togo, and Upper Volta) participated in this gathering and Maurice Oulate, former Deputy Speaker of the Parliament of Ivory Coast, was the conference chairman.

On August 3, 1981, the 14th WACL General Conference was held in Taipei, the ROC. The WACL held its opening ceremony jointly with the 27th APACL General Conference and the 3rd APYACL General Conference. This was the first joint conference of the three organizations and that there were 358 delegates from 105 countries and 12 international organizations in this conference and Ku Cheng-kang, President of the WACL ROC Chapter and also Honorary Chairman of the WACL, presided over the conference. Resolutions was adopted to call free nations for the global anti-communist strategy and to promote the unity of China through freedom and democracy. The Conference also approved two membership applications: 1) Ivory Coast Organization for the Defense of Peace, Justice, and Liberty, led by Maurice Oulate, former Deputy Speaker of the Parliament of Ivory Coast. 2) U.S. Freedom League, led by Gen. John K. Singlaub, former Chief of Staff of U.S. forces in South Korea.

On February 5, 1982, the first WACL European Regional Conference was held in Brussels, Belgium. Cdt. Georges A. Rombouts, Chairman of the WACL Belgium Chapter, presided over the conference. 30 delegates from 12 countries (Belgium, U.K, Denmark, France, West Germany, Greek, Italy, Norway, Spain, Portugal, Sweden, and Switzerland) participated in this conference. Two International Organizations (International Committee for Information and Social Activity and International Conference on Political Warfare of the Soviet), and Six Observers (Delegates representing Austria, Bulgaria, Luxembourg, and organizations such as Hungarian National Liberation Committee, Anti-Bolshevik Bloc of Nations, and East-European Refugee Organizations) were also present at this conference. Ku Cheng-kang, Honorary Chairman of the WACL, was present at the opening ceremony and gave his speech at the closing ceremony.

On December 6, 1982, the 15th WACL General Conference and the 28th APACL were jointly held in Tokyo, Japan. Ryoko Osami Kuboki, President of the WACL Japan Chapter, was the conference chairman. 302 delegates from 110 countries and international organizations attended this conference. 31 Resolutions was passed during the conference, including “A Grand Global Anti-Communist Strategy”, “A Plan for Anti-Marxist-Leninism Action”, “Education on Anti-Communism”, “Steps for Stronger Taiwan Defense”, and “Support to the Chinese Mainland Struggle for Freedom, Democracy, and Human Rights”.

On September 19, 1983, the 16th WACL General Conference was held in Luxembourg with the attendance of 430 participants from 118 countries, international organizations and observer units. Gen. Robert Close, Senator of Belgium and former Director of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, chaired the opening ceremony.

On September 4, 1984, the 17th WACL General Conference was held in San Diego, California, U.S. 291 participants from 98 countries and 9 international organizations were present throughout this conference. Gen. John K. Singlaub, President of the U.S. Freedom League (WACL U.S. Chapter), was the conference chairman.

On September 9, 1985, the 18th WACL General Conference was held in Dallas, Texas, U.S. Gen. John K. Singlaub, President of the U.S. Freedom League (WACL U.S. Chapter), presided over the opening ceremony. Chiang Ching-kuo, President of the ROC, and Ronald Reagan, President of the U.S., sent their congratulatory messages to this occasion. As the U.S. and international media closely watched this conference, 158 reporters joined this event. The Joint Communiqué urged all the free nations to discard the strategy of cooperating with the communists, but instead to aid people from all walks of life to fight for anti-communist movement. Free nations were also encouraged to support the “One China” movement by freedom and democracy, take global anti-communist strategy, and safeguard security.

On November 22, 1985, the 2nd General Conference of Federation of Latin American Democratic Organizations (FLADO) was held in Asuncion, Paraguay. 207 delegates from 16 countries participated in this conference. The conference adopted the amendment of the FLADO Charter and strategy to fight against anti-communist countries in Latin America.

On September 6, 1986, the 19th WACL General Conference was held in Luxembourg with the attendance of 102 participants representing countries, international organizations, and observer units. The Conference approved membership applications that Finland, Estonia, and “Irish World Freedom Association” as state member units while the World Youth Freedom League and the North European Veteran Association as international organization units.

On August 16, 1987, the 20th WACL General Conference was held together with the 33rd APACL General Conference, the 3rd WYFL General Conference, and the 7th APYLFD General Conference in Taipei, ROC. 471 delegates from 113 countries and international organizations attended this conference. Ku Cheng-kang, Honorary Chairman of the WACL, presided over the opening ceremony as President of the ROC Chapter. Three presidents’ messages were read at the conference. They were from Chiang Ching-kuo, President of the ROC, Ronald Reagan, President of the U.S., and Alfredo Stroessner, President of Paraguay. Some distinguished gave their speeches such as Yu Kuo-hwa, Prime Minister of the ROC, Earl Hutto, U.S. Congressman, Dieter Weirich, MP of Federal Republic of Germany, and Daso de Oliveira Coimbra, MP of Federal Republic of Brazil. Ni Wen-ya, President of the ROC Legislative Yuan (Parliament), Huang Tsun-chiu, President of the ROC Control Yuan, and Chiang Wei-kuo, Secretary-General of the ROC National Security Council, also accepted the invitation to join the opening ceremony. The Joint Communiqué reiterated that a free world would consist of justice, peace, national independence, democratic politics, free economy and societal advance.

In June 1988, Ku Cheng-kang, Honorary Chairman of the WACL, handed over his position as the president of the ROC Chapter to Clement C.P. Chang, Vice President of the ROC Chapter and also President of Tamkang University. Chang, at the same time, served as Chairman of the WACL Council.

On August 25, 1988, the 21st WACL General Conference was held in Geneva, Switzerland. Clement C.P. Chang, chaired the opening ceremony as the Council Chair. Chang handed over his position as conference chair to Mme. Genevieve Aubry, MP of Switzerland and also President of the WACL Switzerland Chapter. 269 delegates representing 103 countries, international organizations, and observer units attended this conference. In an attempt to disturb the WACL gathering, international communist and left-wing groups put pressure on the Swiss government. They even attacked the conference by rocks, sticks, paints and fireworks at the opening ceremony. The Swiss riot police dispersed the protest, arrested the illegal protestors, and deployed more police at conference site. With the help of the Swiss police, the WACL could continue to hold its conference.

In June 1989, Clement C.P. Chang, President of the WACL ROC Chapter, resigned his position as he was designated to become the minister of Transportation of the ROC.

On July 12, 1989, Chao Tze-chi was elected as President of the WACL ROC Chapter.

On August 21, 1989, the 22nd WACL General Conference was scheduled to take place in Brisbane City, Queensland, Australia. However, the WACL Executive Board Committee approved to turn the general conference into a forum with the same agenda for the local government refused to give visas to Chao Tze-chi, President of the WACL ROC Chapter, and Gen. Chiang Wei-kuo. 120 delegates representing 50 countries, international organizations, and observer units attended this meeting. U.S. Congressman Gerald Solomon showed his disapproval to Bob Hawke, Prime Minister of Australia, on his refusal to give visas to the ROC delegates. The participants, including John Howard, member of the Australian House of Representatives and Bruce Goodluck, unanimously denounced the Australian government’s action.

On July 23, 1990, WACL held the 22nd General Conference in Brussels of Belgium. A significant resolution was reached that the WACL should be renamed as the “World League for Freedom and Democracy” (WLFD), which came into effect on January 1, 1991.

In August 1990, the WLFD participated in the “Fourth Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty of the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons” held by the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, as the observer of the UN DPI/NGO.

In January 1991, the WLFD participated in the “Conference on a Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban” held by the United Nations in New York City, U.S., as the observer of the UN DPI/NGO.

In February 1991, the WLFD applied to join the DPI/NGO of the United Nations.

On July 15, 1991, the WLFD held an international symposium jointly with The Claremont Institute of the U.S. on the topic of “The New Order of the World after the Persian Gulf War”. More than 150 experts and scholars at home and abroad showed up at this discussion. Ronald Reagan, President of the U.S., delivered his speech on “The Expanding Frontiers of World Freedom”.

On August 21, 1991, the WLFD held the 23rd General Conference in San Jose of Costa Rica. Rafael Angel Calderon Fournier, President of Costa Rica, and vice presidents from six different countries in Latin America, attended to give speeches at the conference. The conference passed a resolution to set up the presidency of league, a new post to highlight the leading center of the WLFD and also to take the responsibility to organize WLFD activities. Chao Tze-chi, President of the Republic of China Chapter of WLFD, was elected as the first President of the WLFD, and re-elected to the same position in 1995. Secretary-General, who shall be elected by the Executive Board upon the recommendation of the President of the league, was Woo Jae-seung of the Republic of Korea for another term.

On August 10, 1992, the 24th WLFD General Conference was held in Budapest, the capital of Hungary. Jozsef Torgyan, President of the WLFD Hungary Chapter and also Chairman of the Independent Smallholders’ Party (FKGP) of Hungary, was the main organizer of this conference. The opening ceremony was held at the Hungarian Royal Palace. With the sponsorship of Budapest University of Economic Sciences and Public Administration, the WLFD also held an international academic symposium on the theme of “Supporting the Movement Toward Freedom and Democracy”.

On September 13, 1992, the WLFD delegation led by Chairman Chao attended the UN/DPI/NGO annual conference as observer for the first time.

In September 1993, the WLFD attended the UN/DPI/NGO annual conference as observer for the second time.

On October 23, 1993, in order to echo the Berlin Wall collapse and the reunion of East and West Germany, the 25th WLFD General Conference was held in Berlin, Germany. Ortwin Lowack, President of the WLFD Germany Chapter and also Member of Parliament of Germany, was the conference chairman. His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Nobel Peace Prize winner, and Stoyan Ganev of the Republic of Bulgaria, President of the 47th Session of the UN General Conference, were invited to give speeches at the opening ceremony. The WLFD then held an international academic symposium with the German Committee of Security and Cooperation in Europe on the topic of “Promoting Human Rights and International Economic Cooperation”.

On December 13, 1993, the WLFD became a Regular Member of the UN/DPI/NGO. The league has attended the UN/DPI/NGO annual conference as regular member every year since 1994.

On August 3, 1994, to celebrate the dissolution of the Soviet Union and to support the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), the 26th WLFD General Conference was held at the President Hotel in Moscow, Russia. Gavriil K. Popov, former Mayor of Moscow and also President of the WLFD Russia Chapter, presided over the conference. Yuriy Meshkov, President of the Republic of Crimea of Ukraine, Philip Dimitrov, former Prime Minister of Bulgaria, Dashyn Byambasuren, former Prime Minister of Mongolia, Sipo Mzimela, Minister Correctional Services of South Africa, and Mike Huckabee, Arkansas Lieutenant Governor of the United States, were invited to give their speeches at the opening ceremony. Euguency Shaposhnikov, Military Advisor to the President of the Russian Federation, delivered his speech at the closing ceremony. Following President Boris Yeltsin’s request, Serguei Filatov, Chief of Presidential Administration, received the WLFD delegation and arranged a dinner to welcome the delegates at the Kremlin. Chao Tze-chi, President of the WLFD, also paid his private visits to meet with Viktor Chernomyrdin, Prime Minister of the Russia Federation, Anatoly Sobchak, Mayor of St. Petersburg, and some MPs.

On July 27, 1995, the WLFD Executive Board Meeting was held at the Millennium UN Plaza Hotel in New York City, U.S. During the meeting, Chao Tze-chi, President of the WLFD ROC Chapter, was re-elected to take the 2nd presidency of the WLFD. On the 28th, the WLFD held its 27th General Conference; Mike Huckabee, Arkansas Lieutenant Governor, United States, was the conference chairman. To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the United Nations, Rafael Angel Calderon Fournier, former President of Costa Rica, Edward Teller, Father of the hydrogen bomb in the United States, Ivan M. Korotchenya, Executive Secretary of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), and Loic Bouvard, Vice President of the National Assembly of French Republic, were invited to attend the conference and spoke at the opening ceremony. The WLFD, for the first time, held its welcome reception before the conference and farewell dinner afterwards at the Delegates Dining Room of the United Nations. During the conference, to have the WLFD delegates better understand the United Nations and also support its core values, the UN officials gave brief reports to these delegates at the Fourth Conference Room of the UN Headquarters.

In August 1996, the 28th WLFD General Conference was scheduled to take place in Cape Town, South Africa. However, to celebrate the first inauguration of the civilian ROC president and the vice president, the conference shifted to be held in Taipei, ROC, on May 21, 1996.

On May 17, 1997, Chao Tze-chi resigned as President of the WLFD ROC Chapter. Yao Eng-chi, Executive Manager of the WLFD ROC Chapter, was elected as Acting President of this chapter. Chao was still in charge of leading the WLFD.

On September 17, 1997, the 29th WLFD General Conference was held in Washington, D.C., U.S., with the theme of “Toward a Better and a More Secure World”. Chao Tze-chi, President of the WLFD, and Mike Huckabee, President of the WLFD U.S. Chapter, jointly presided over the conference. The conference agenda was arranged based on the UN’s work on non-governmental organizations in the previous year.

On September 19, 1997, Yao Eng-chi, Acting President of the WLFD ROC Chapter, headed for Boston in the United States to deliver a speech on the topic of “The ROC Constitution Reform and Party Politics” at the John K. Fairbank Center for East Asian Research of the Harvard University, U.S.

On August 5, 1998, Yao Eng-chi was officially elected President of the WLFD ROC Chapter.

On August 28, 1998, the 30th WLFD General Conference was held in Bangkok, Thailand, with the theme of “Global Peace for A Better Life”. Chao Tze-chi, President of the WLFD, and Gen. Chakorn Dattananda, President of the WLFD Thailand Chapter, jointly presided over the conference.

Between December 21, 1998 and January 3, 1999, with the invitation of President Yao Eng-chi of the WLFD ROC Chapter, well-known pro-democratic dissidents from Mainland China, including Wei Jingsheng, Wan Run-nan, Qi Mo, and Sheng Xue, came to Taiwan for visits. The delegation held talks with some ROC governmental officials, and paid visits to the president and vice president of the ROC Legislative Yuan, where they sat in on the question time during a legislative session. Lee Teng-hui, president of the ROC, also received this delegation.

On January 23, 1999, the WLFD held the Executive Board Meeting in Taipei, ROC Clement C.P. Chang, Secretary-General of the APLFD Secretariat, was elected as the 3rd President of the WLFD.

On October 2 to 4, 2000, in cooperation with the US Foundation for China in the 21st Century, the Institute of Multi-track for Diplomacy and other organizations, the WLFD held the “Interethnic Leadership Conference” for leaders from Mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macao.

On October 27, 2000, the WLFD held its Executive Board Meeting at the Carlton Hotel in New York City, U.S. Yao Eng-chi, President of the WLFD ROC Chapter, was elected as the 3rd President of the WLFD.

On January 13, 2001, the 31st WLFD General Conference and the 2001 World Freedom Day Celebrations were jointly held in Taipei, ROC, with the theme of “Peace Building Through the Consolidation of New Democracies in the New Millennium”. Yao Eng-chi, President of the WLFD and also President of the WLFD ROC Chapter, presided over the conference. 96 delegates from 43 countries attended this conference, including speaker of Guam, deputy speaker of the Uruguayan Chamber of Deputies, and deputy speaker of parliament of Swaziland. Two proposals were approved by the Conference: 1) Yao Eng-chi was approved to take the presidency of the WLFD; 2) Ger Yeong-kuang was appointed to serve as Secretary-General of the WLFD.

On February 2, 2002, the 2002 World Freedom Day Celebrations was held in Taipei, ROC, with the theme of “Expand World Human Rights, Consolidate Freedom and Democracy”. Yao Eng-chi, President of the WLFD ROC Chapter, was the conference chairman. More than two hundred participants were present throughout this conference.

On May 20, 2002, the 32nd WLFD General Conference was held in Taipei, ROC Clement C.P. Chang, President of the WLFD, presided over the conference.

On July 19, 2002, Yao Eng-chi was re-elected as President of the WLFD ROC Chapter.

On January 23, 2003, the 2003 World Freedom Day Celebrations took place at the National Museum of Prehistory in Taitung in eastern Taiwan, with the theme of “Promoting Human Rights and Achieving Peace in An Era of Globalization”. Yao Eng-chi, President of the WLFD ROC Chapter, was the conference chairman. More than 51 representatives and distinguished guests from 26 countries attended this conference.

On December 20, 2003, the 33rd WLFD General Conference was held in Melbourne, Australia. Clement C.P. Chang, President of the WLFD, and Bruce Skeggs, President of the WLFD Australia Chapter, jointly presided over the conference. More than 40 delegates from 18 countries attended this conference. With the approval of the Conference, Yao Eng-chi, President of the WLFD ROC Chapter, took over the fourth presidency of the WLFD.

On January 17, 2004, the 50th Anniversary World Freedom Day Celebrations was held in Taipei, ROC, with the theme of “To Deepen Democracy and Expand Human Rights”. Yao Eng-chi, President of the WLFD and also President of the WLFD ROC Chapter, was the conference chairman. More than 300 participants in Taiwan showed up at the conference.

On January 23, 2005, the 2005 World Freedom Day Celebrations took place in Taipei, ROC, with the theme of “Civil Society and Democratization in the New Millennium”. Yao Eng-chi, President of the WLFD and also President of the WLFD ROC Chapter, was the conference chairman. More than 90 representatives and distinguished guests from 40 countries attended this conference.

On January 19, 2006, the 34th WLFD General Conference and 2006 World Freedom Day Celebrations were jointly held in Taipei, ROC, with the theme of “Promoting Democracy and Human Rights under the Context of Globalization”. Yao Eng-chi, President of the WLFD and also President of the WLFD ROC Chapter, was the conference chairman. More than 60 representatives and distinguished guests from 21 countries attended this conference.

On October 16, 2006, Tseng Yung-chuan, Vice President of the ROC Legislative Yuan (Parliament), was elected as President of the WLFD ROC Chapter.

On January 21, 2007, the 35th WLFD General Conference and the 2007 World Freedom Day Celebrations were held jointly in Taipei, ROC, with the topic of “Building a Strategic Partnership between NGOs and Governments”. Yao Eng-chi, President of the WLFD, and Tseng Yung-chuan, President of the WLFD ROC Chapter, were the conference chairmen. More than 70 representatives and distinguished guests from 20 countries attended this conference. Sister Joan Kirby, Chair of the NGO/DPI Executive Committee of the United Nations, accepted the invitation to attend her first WLFD conference.

On January 23, 2008, the 2008 World Freedom Day Celebrations was held in Taipei, ROC. Yao Eng-chi, President of the WLFD, and Tseng Yung-chuan, President of the WLFD ROC Chapter, were the conference chairmen. More than 40 representatives and distinguished guests from 18 countries attended this conference. Indra Bahadur Gurung, State Minister of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs of Nepal, Taneti Maamau, Member of Parliament of Kiribati, Gonzalo Uriarte, member of the Chilean Chamber of Deputies, Victor Manuel Torres Herrera, member of the Mexican Chamber of Deputies, gave their speeches at the conference. The WLFD general conference wasn’t able to take place due to insufficient budget.

On January 23, 2009, WLFD held the 2009 World Freedom Day Celebrations in Taipei, ROC Yao Eng-Chi, President of WLFD, and Tseng Yung-chuan, President of the WLFD ROC Chapter, presided over the ceremony. More than 360 representatives from 20 countries attended this conference. Jeffery Huffines, Chairman of the DPI/NGO Executive Committee of the UN, gave a speech at the opening ceremony. Shamina de Gonzaga, Chairperson of the UN DPI/NGO 2008 Annual Conference, was present.

On October 23, 2009, the 2009 WLFD General Conference and the 55th APLFD Annual Convention were jointly held in Manila, Philippines, with the theme of “For Peace and Development: Disarm now!”. Yao Eng-chi and Guillermo A. Pecache, President of the Philippines Chapter, were the conference chairmen. More than 100 delegates from 22 countries participated in this conference. Gilberto A. Teodoro Jr., on President Arroyo’s behalf, read the congratulatory message. Jeffery Huffines, Chair of DPI/NGO Executive Committee of the UN, presented a speech at the plenary session. Yao Eng-chi, President of the WLFD, was re-elected to take the fifth presidency of the World League for Freedom and Democracy by the Executive Board on October 22.

On June 8, 2010, the 2010 WLFD General Conference was held at the Sheraton Hotel in Incheon, ROK, with the theme of “Freedom and Democracy – A New Vision”. This conference was also held to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War. Yao Eng-chi and Park Chang-dal, President of the WLFD Korea Chapter, were the conference chairmen. More than 200 delegates from 64 countries attended this conference. Lee Myung-bak, President of the Republic of Korea, gave his congratulatory message via video. Maeng Hyung-kyu, Minister of Public Administration and Security of the Republic of Korea, and Jeffery Huffines, Chairman of the DPI/NGO Executive Committee of the UN, were invited to deliver keynote speeches on the opening ceremony. Edwin Feulner, President of the Heritage Foundation, gave a speech on the symposium.

On September 16, 2010, Tseng Yung-chuan was re-elected as President of the WLFD ROC Chapter.

On January 22, 2011, to commemorate and mark the centennial of the founding of the ROC, the 2011 World Freedom Day Celebrations and the WLFD•APLFD General Conference were held jointly at the Grand Hotel in Taipei, ROC. The theme of the event was “Promoting Freedom and Democracy Further and Deeper Globally”. Yao Eng-Chi, President of WLFD, and Tseng Yung-chuan, President of the WLFD ROC Chapter, presided over the ceremony. Over 189 delegates from 89 nations attended the conference. Ma Ying-jeou, President of the Republic of China, Johnson Toribiong, President of the Republic of Palau, and Alvin T. Jacklick, Speaker of National Parliament of Marshall Islands, delivered their speeches on the opening ceremony.

On April 12, 2012, the WLFD held the 2012 General Conference at the Hotel Windsor in Melbourne, Australia, with the theme of “Freedom, Democracy, and World Peace”. More than 130 participants from 39 nations and regions showed up at this conference. Jeffery Huffines, Member of DPI/NGO Executive Committee of the United Nations, Kevin Andrews, Member of Parliament for Menzies of Australia, and Jan Kronberg, Member of Victorian Legislative Council of Australia, gave their speeches at the opening ceremony.

On June 11, 2012, Tseng Yung-chuan, President of the WLFD ROC Chapter, resigned from the position due to his designation as Secretary-General of the President Office of the Republic of China. Yao Eng-chi, President of the WLFD, was elected as the new president of the WLFD ROC Chapter.

On January 23, 2013, the World Freedom Day Celebrations and WLFD•APLFD General Conference were held jointly at the Taipei Grand Hotel in Taipei, ROC. The topic for this year’s conference was “Consolidation of Democratization: Challenges and Prospects”. Yao Eng-chi, President of the WLFD, was the conference chairman. 135 delegates from 58 countries participated in this conference. Ma Ying-jeou, President of the ROC, David Y.L. Lin, ROC’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ray Tenorio, Lieutenant Governor of Guam, Gustavo Espinosa Marmol, President of the WLFD Uruguayan Chapter and also member of Uruguayan Chamber of Deputies, and Yao Eng-chi, President of the WLFD, held their torches to light up fire at the brazier. This symbolized the fire of freedom and democracy will be burning forever. Ma, President Yao, Jeffery Huffines, Ex-Chair of the NGO/DPI Executive Committee of the UN, and Miguel Angel Giubergia, President of the WLFD Argentine Chapter and also member of the Argentine Chamber of Deputies, delivered speeches at the opening ceremony. Important MPs participated in this conference such as Axel E. Fischer, Member of Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly and the Western European Union, Mme. Beni Lar, Chairperson of House Committee on Human Rights of Nigeria, Mohammad Shah Alam, Member of National Assembly of Bangladesh, Mme. Maria Amparo Ferrando Sendra, Member of the Spanish Congress of Deputies, Lionel Tardy, Member of National Assembly of France, Batbold Sundui, Member of State Great Assembly of Mongolia, and Mme. Tashi Shangmo Gurungseni, Member of Nepali Congress. Sister Joan Kirby, the other ex-chair of the UN DPI/NGO Executive Committee, and Wu Rong-chuan, Director General of the Department of NGO International Affairs of the Ministry of the ROC Foreign Affairs, also participated in the conference.

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