September 14, 2016
The 71st Session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly was held at the UN Headquarters in New York on September 13, with the General Debate held from September 20 to 26. In line with the guiding principle of caring the people's welfare through steadfast diplomacy and mutual benefits, the ROC government has asked its diplomatic allies to speak up for Taiwan in the General Debate, as well as have their Permanent Representatives to the UN jointly write to the UN Secretary-General.
The goal of this year’s bid is to announce to the world that Taiwan, as a proactive communicator for peace, is capable of engaging in dialogue, communicating, and contributing to key global issues with other international members. The two main appeals of this year's campaign are:
1) To call on the United Nations to heed the fundamental right of the 23 million people of Taiwan to participate in UN specialized agencies
The key global issues that UN specialized agencies such as the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) handle have a direct influence on the welfare of all mankind, including the people of Taiwan. Having Taiwan’s participation in the related mechanisms, meetings, and activities can thus make concrete contributions to the overall benefit of the world. The UN system should heed that Taiwan is an indispensable partner for the international community, when it comes to international cooperation on emerging global issues such as humanitarian aid, medical assistance, disease prevention and research, anti-terrorism cooperation, and jointly tackling transnational crime. Through candid communication to shelve controversy, the ROC is willing to take a rational and pragmatic approach to jointly seeking an appropriate solution by which the UN and all interested parties can accept its participation.
2) To call on the United Nations to heed Taiwan’s involvement in and implementation of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Last year, the UN General Assembly adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and 17 SDGs to replace the due Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). These SDGs tally with the bilateral cooperation projects the ROC conducts with its diplomatic allies to help them eradicate poverty, improve education, ensure health, facilitate economic and trade development, achieve ecological conservation, and adapt to climate change. Through international cooperation, the ROC has long been actively involved in MDGs/SDGs-related aid and development programs benefiting many developing countries. Taiwan has possessed relevant expertise and experience, and has been effective in giving back to the international community.
The ROC government urges the UN to understand that Taiwan is willing to fulfill its responsibilities as a global citizen and make concerted efforts to establish sustainable partnerships with each country. The UN should identify appropriate ways to facilitate Taiwan’s participation in the sustainable development agenda.
Participating in the UN system has always been the wish of Taiwanese people, as well as the established policy and long-term goal of the ROC government. Although the strategies used and appeals made since the government began its UN campaign in 1993 have varied slightly from year to year depending on the domestic and international situation, the overarching aim has always been to show that Taiwan’s inclusion would enable it to make invaluable contributions to the international community.
The ROC government once again expresses the gratitude to its diplomatic allies and other countries for their support and assistance in Taiwan’s bid to participate in the UN system. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also calls on the UN and all parties concerned to heed the aspirations of Taiwanese people, find a pragmatic, feasible path to accept Taiwan’s participation in UN specialized agencies, and allow Taiwan to contribute towards achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. (E)