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MOFA expresses gratitude for broad international momentum behind bid by Taiwan’s government and people for UN participation
Date: 2019/10/02    Data Source: Public Diplomacy Coordination Council
October 2, 2019
No. 228

At this year’s UN General Debate that concluded on September 30, the multipronged campaign by the Republic of China (Taiwan) government to participate in the United Nations system, together with a range of related activities organized by civic groups, effectively advanced understanding of our demands among the international community. The increasing international momentum behind our cause shows that the government’s UN campaign is on the right track.
 
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is deeply encouraged by these developments, and expresses its sincere thanks for the support and assistance provided by Taiwan’s diplomatic allies, like-minded countries, friendly individuals, and civic groups.
 
This year, 14 of Taiwan’s diplomatic allies—Belize, Eswatini, Guatemala, Haiti, the Holy See, Honduras, the Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Paraguay, Saint Christopher and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Tuvalu—expressed their support for Taiwan by sending either joint or individual letters to UN Secretary-General António Guterres, and by speaking up for Taiwan in the General Debate and other high-level meetings. Taiwan is moved by this staunch support from our allies.
 
The United States, Japan, and other like-minded nations also expressed their support for Taiwan’s participation on professional grounds. Of these like-minded countries, the US for the first time invited the Director-General of Taiwan’s office in New York, Lily Hsu, to attend an event held by the United States at UN Headquarters, the Global Call to Protect Religious Freedom, hosted by US President Donald Trump. This was a significant gesture which amply demonstrated US support for Taiwan. In addition, while speaking at a meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar II affirmed Taiwan’s position as a strong and committed partner in health issues. The offices of Australia, Germany, Japan, and the United States in Taiwan also reposted the MOFA-produced short film “A True Friend” on their official Facebook pages, highlighting Taiwan’s achievements and contributions in helping to realize the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
 
In addition, the national parliaments of the Marshall Islands and Honduras and the assembly of Paraguay’s Alto Paraná Department each passed resolutions in support of Taiwan’s international participation, and members of the parliaments of Peru and Colombia signed joint statements and sent letters to Secretary-General Guterres in support of our case. Moreover, the Association of European Journalists, Slovakia’s Institute for Public Affairs, and media associations in Colombia and Peru all wrote to the UN Secretary-General arguing that the Taiwanese press should enjoy the fundamental right to cover UN-related meetings and events. The International Federation of Journalists also passed an urgent resolution at its 30th World Congress this past June calling on the United Nations to end its discriminatory policy of excluding journalists from Taiwan.
 
Outside the United Nations, our government held a series of events on sustainable development, climate change, universal health coverage, and youth empowerment in cooperation with major universities, top thinktanks, press clubs, and youth groups in the New York area. Minister without Portfolio Audrey Tang, Environmental Protection Administration Deputy Minister Tsai Hung-teh, National Health Insurance Administration Director General Lee Po-chang, and Taiwan International Cooperation and Development Fund Secretary General Timothy T.Y. Hsiang were among the government leaders from Taiwan attending these events, which attracted a significant number of people from UN circles as well as local public opinion leaders. Together, these events generated a strong, positive reaction among attendees and observers, and successfully demonstrated that Taiwan can be a constructive global partner in helping to realize the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan was represented at the events by Legislator Chen Ching-min, who helped convey to attendees that public opinion in Taiwan is firmly in support of efforts by the Republic of China (Taiwan) government to seek UN participation.
 
Civic groups from Taiwan and overseas compatriot organizations in New York organized and held their own events to coincide with the UN General Assembly. Through seminars, exhibitions, and a march, these groups helped convey the sincere wish of the Taiwanese people to take part in the UN system, and likewise received broad attention and support.
 
In terms of international publicity initiatives, Minister of Foreign Affairs Jaushieh Joseph Wu authored an op-ed entitled “Building an Inclusive UN with Taiwan On Board,” which was published or covered over 170 times in international and local mainstream media outlets from countries including the United States, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Canada, Belgium, Japan, Philippines, Russia, Guatemala, and Colombia. In addition, through October 1, “A True Friend” had received over 13 million views, while related posts on the MOFA official Facebook page had reached an audience of more than 360,000.
 
MOFA reiterates that the Republic of China (Taiwan) has been pursuing UN participation since 1993, and that despite the obstacles involved, the ongoing efforts of Taiwan’s government and people have garnered more and more international understanding and support for our cause. Our government’s resolve to work with the world has not and will not change in the face of China’s unremitting suppression of Taiwan’s international participation. By coordinating with relevant agencies, MOFA will continue to push the case for Taiwan’s UN participation on the basis of professionalism, pragmatism, and making contributions, so as to ensure that the people of Taiwan can exercise their fundamental right to take part in the UN system as equals with dignity, while working with the world to realize the Sustainable Development Goals. (E)