New York University law professor Jerome Cohen was conferred with the Order of Brilliant Star with Grand Gordon July 2 by Lily Hsu, director-general of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in New York, in recognition of his work advancing Taiwan-U.S. relations.
During a virtual ceremony, Hsu said the honor represents the sincere appreciation of the government and people for the scholar’s long-term support for Taiwan. Hsu also offered her best wishes to Cohen, who celebrated his 90th birthday a day earlier.
According to Hsu, since first visiting Taiwan in 1961 Cohen has established a close relationship with the country and been a key observer of its transition from authoritarianism to vibrant democracy. The government is grateful for Cohen’s public recognition of Taiwan’s progress in human rights and rule of law, as well as his efforts in encouraging exchanges with the U.S., she said.
Cohen thanked the government and people of Taiwan for the honor and said he is moved that TECO specially organized the ceremony amid the coronavirus pandemic. Given recent developments in Hong Kong and Beijing, it is more important than ever that Taiwan maintain its role as beacon of progress, he added.
Holding a doctorate from U.S.-based Yale University, Cohen is the founder and faculty director emeritus of the U.S.-Asia Law Institute of NYU School of Law, and one of a panel of international experts that reviewed Taiwan’s national human rights reports in 2013 and 2017.
Last year, Cohen, Harvard Law School professor William P. Alford and former ROC Constitutional Court Justice Lo Chang-Fa jointly edited “Taiwan and International Human Rights: A Story of Transformation,” which documents the country’s human rights history. (SFC-E)
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