After more than 200 million infections and more than 4 million deaths, the COVID-19 pandemic has raged across the world. This has created a deeply devastating socio-economic impact on our interconnected world, with virtually no country spared. The pandemic has disrupted global trade, exacerbated poverty, hampered education and compromised gender equality, with middle to low income countries bearing the brunt of the burden, writes Jaushieh Joseph Wu, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of China (Taiwan) (photo below).
As many countries brace for another virus spike, brought on by the highly contagious Delta variant, the world looks to the United Nations (UN) to step up its global efforts to resolve the crisis, ensure better recovery and rebuild sustainably. It is a daunting task that requires all hands on deck. It is time for the world organization to welcome Taiwan, a valuable and worthy partner who is ready to lend a hand.
In recent months, Taiwan, like many other countries, has faced a surge of COVID-19 cases after nearly a year of success in containing the virus. Yet he brought the situation under control and emerged even more prepared to work with allies and partners to meet the challenges posed by the pandemic. Taiwan’s effective response to the pandemic, its rapid expansion of its capabilities to meet global supply chain demand, and its substantial assistance to partner countries around the world all attest to the fact that Taiwan’s compelling reasons for playing a constructive role in the United Nations system.
However, under pressure from the People’s Republic of China (PRC), the UN and its specialized agencies continue to reject Taiwan, citing 1971 UN General Assembly resolution 2758 (XXVI) as the legal basis for this exclusion. . But the language of the resolution is crystal clear: it simply addresses the issue of China’s representation at the UN; there is no mention of China’s claim to sovereignty over Taiwan, nor does it allow the PRC to represent Taiwan in the United Nations system. The point is, the PRC has never ruled Taiwan. This is the reality and the status quo on both sides of the Taiwan Strait. The Taiwanese people can only be represented on the international stage by their government elected by the people. By falsely equating the language of the resolution with Beijing’s “one China principle”, the PRC is arbitrarily imposing its political views on the UN.
The absurdity doesn’t stop there. This exclusion also hinders the participation of Taiwanese civil society. Taiwanese passport holders are denied access to UN premises, both for visits and meetings, while Taiwanese journalists cannot obtain accreditation to cover UN events. The only reason for this discriminatory treatment is their nationality. Excluding members of Taiwanese civil society from the UN flies in the face of the ideal of multilateralism, violates the founding principles of the UN to promote respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and hinders the global efforts of the United Nations.
For six decades, Taiwan has provided assistance to partner countries around the world. Since the adoption of the United Nations 2030 Agenda, he has focused on helping partners achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and, more recently, to engage in a pandemic response and recovery. postpandemic. Meanwhile, at home, Taiwan has achieved its SDGs on gender equality, clean water and sanitation, as well as good health and well-being, among others. Our innovative, community-based solutions harness public-private partnerships to benefit society as a whole.
The World Happiness Report 2021, published by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, ranked Taiwan as the happiest in East Asia and 24th in the world. The ranking shows how people in a country feel about the social support they receive and largely reflects a country’s implementation of the SDGs. Taiwan is willing to pass on its experience and work with global partners to build a better and more resilient future for all.
At a time when the world is sounding the bugle for climate action and to achieve net carbon emissions by 2050, Taiwan is actively developing a roadmap towards this goal and has drafted dedicated legislation to facilitate this process. Climate change knows no borders, and concerted efforts are essential if we are to achieve a sustainable future. Taiwan knows this and is working on the best ways to turn carbon reduction challenges into new opportunities.
In his oath in June this year, UN Secretary-General António Guterres stressed that the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed our common vulnerability and interdependence. He said the UN, and the states and people it serves, can only benefit from bringing others to the table.
Denying partners who have the capacity to contribute is a moral and material loss for the world as we seek to better recover together. Taiwan is a force for good. Now is the time to bring Taiwan to the table and let Taiwan help.