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Multipronged campaign in 2018 highlights the aspiration of Taiwan’s 23 million people to participate in the UN system
Date: 2018/10/11    Data Source: Public Diplomacy Coordination Council
October 2, 2018

This year’s multipronged campaign by the Republic of China (Taiwan) for UN participation this year has effectively conveyed its 23 million people’s aspiration to take part in the UN system and assist with the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Taiwan’s diplomatic allies once again expressed their steadfast support for Taiwan’s bid at the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly and the General Debate that concluded on October 1st. A wide array of events held by the R.O.C. (Taiwan) government in conjunction with the General Assembly session also attracted a great deal of attention. The government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) sincerely appreciates the support of its allies and the international community.

High-level officials of diplomatic allies who made remarks in support of Taiwan at this year’s UN General Debate were, in order of speaking, the President of Paraguay, the President of the Marshall Islands, the King of Eswatini, the President of Kiribati, the President of Nauru, the President of Palau, the Prime Minister of Tuvalu, the Prime Minister of Saint Lucia, the Prime Minister of Saint Christopher and Nevis, the Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, the Prime Minister of Solomon Islands, and the Foreign Minister of Belize. These allies’ leaders endorsed Taiwan’s participation in the implementation of the SDGs. They also called on the UN to resolve the serious issue of Taiwan’s 23 million people being excluded from the UN system.

Furthermore, 12 diplomatic allies submitted a joint letter to the UN Secretary-General António Guterres, including Belize, Eswatini, Haiti, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Saint Christopher and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu; Honduras, Nicaragua and Paraguay submitted individual letters to the Secretary-General. These letters expressed strong support for Taiwan’s participation in the UN system.

In the joint letter to Secretary-General Guterres, the aforementioned diplomatic allies urged him to let Taiwan participate on an equal footing in meetings, mechanisms and activities related to the realization of the SDGs. They also reiterated that discriminatory practices by the UN against Taiwan―i.e., denying Taiwan passport holders entry to UN premises for visits or meetings as well as not accrediting Taiwan journalists―clearly violate the principle of universality upon which UN was founded. As a global organization striving to serve humanity, the UN should open its arms to everyone, the letter noted.

Furthermore, at the Third High-level Meeting on the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases, held in conjunction with the General Assembly, the Health Minister of Palau commended Taiwan’s contributions to public health and expressed firm support for Taiwan’s inclusion in related UN meetings.

Coinciding with the General Assembly, the R.O.C. (Taiwan) government held 20 events in New York with Permanent Missions to the UN of Taiwan’s diplomatic allies, the UN community, universities, think tanks, youth groups and overseas compatriot associations. These events effectively showcased how Taiwan is a constructive partner in global efforts to implement the SDGs.

Minister without Portfolio Audrey Tang and Environmental Protection Administration Deputy Minister Thomas Chan also visited New York to take part in these events. They shared Taiwan’s achievements in implementing the SDGs and the contributions it can make. International Cooperation and Development Fund (TaiwanICDF) Secretary-General Timothy Hsiang spoke about Taiwan’s accomplishments in helping diplomatic allies and nations in need realize the SDGs. An advisory delegation composed of four members of the Legislative Yuan—Lin Ching-yi, Chen Man-li, Lee Li-feng and Hsu Yung-ming―also visited New York to attend these events to show popular support for the government’s UN campaign.

Taiwan civic groups and New York-based overseas compatriot groups also took the initiative to organize over 10 activities that further contributed to enhancing the international community’s understanding and support of Taiwan’s UN aspirations.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu amplified Taiwan’s appeal by giving an interview to the New York Times, in which he stressed that “Taiwan deserves to have a role in the UN, just as any other country in the world.” Minister Wu also authored an op-ed, which was published more than 105 times by major media worldwide, explaining Taiwan’s concrete efforts in implementing the SDGs and calling on the UN to not buckle under political pressure and to open its doors to Taiwan.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also actively used social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to attract the attention of younger audiences. A short video entitled An SDG A Day was produced by the ministry to showcase Taiwan’s commitment to various areas concerning SDGs, including responsible consumption and production, sustainable food production, quality education, clean energy, and healthcare. This video has been viewed over 14 million times worldwide.

In response to Taiwan’s UN campaign, Reporters Without Borders issued a statement to urge the UN to end its discriminating practice of denying credentials to Taiwanese reporters to cover UN events. This statement has been echoed by the Association of European Journalists, Slovakia’s Institute for Public Affairs, as well as media in Malaysia, Nicaragua and Turkey.

The R.O.C. (Taiwan) government once again expresses its gratitude to diplomatic allies and the global community for their support and assistance in Taiwan’s bid to participate in the UN system. Taiwan will continue to fulfill its international responsibilities and collaborate with global partners to achieve the SDGs. The government calls on the UN to stop ignoring Taiwan, and will continue to leverage

the dynamics of Taiwan civic groups, overseas compatriot and academic communities, and groups of young professionals on its endeavors to urge the UN to seek a solution for Taiwan to soon participate in the UN system on equal footing and with dignity. (E)