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Foreign Minister calls for building an inclusive UN with Taiwan on board

Taiwan Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu called on the UN to include Taiwan on 23 August, in the run-up to the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly in September. The Minister highlighted Taiwan’s contributions to advancing UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well as urged the global body to allow Taiwan’s participation. Minister Wu highlighted the UN’s own principles of inclusiveness, citing its SDGs as well as Secretary-General António Guterres’s calls to advance the “Inclusion Imperative”. The minister pointed out that although Taiwan, a full-fledged democracy, has made considerable progress in fulfilling UN SDGs, it continues to be barred from participating in related meetings, mechanisms and activities due to political interference. Minister Wu stressed that this has seriously undermined the principle of partnership and the foundation of the SDGs, which requires the participation of all countries, stakeholders and people.

 

Minister Wu emphasised Taiwan’s significant contributions to advancing SDGs, such as the country’s reducing low-income households to 1.6%, National Health Insurance programme covering 99.8% of the population, waste recycling rate reaching 55.69% in 2018, literacy rate at 98.8% and infant mortality rate at 4.2 per 1,000. The foreign minister pointed out that it is absurd that Taiwan is barred from sharing experience and critical information that could be used to better coordinate international efforts. Minister Wu stated the UN sits idly by whenever China seeks to impose its so-called “one China principle” on the UN system. He cited dozens NGOs that were recently denied Consultative Status by the UN Economic and Social Council simply because a reference to Taiwan in their documents contradicted China’s demands, Taiwan passport holders remaining blocked from entering UN premises for public visits and meetings as well as Taiwanese journalists and media outlets being denied accreditation to cover UN meetings. “These practices are unjust and discriminatory, and contravene the principle of universality upon which the UN was founded,” the minister said.

 

Minister Wu emphasised that if the UN continues to yield to China’s coercion, rejecting Taiwan’s participation, it will only encourage Beijing’s callousness. He warned that efforts to achieve international cooperation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural or humanitarian character, and promote and encourage respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, as stated in Article 1 of the UN Charter, will also be impaired. He concluded that if the host of nations is serious about promoting inclusion and making development sustainable for all, it should open its doors to Taiwan.