Shar­ing a sus­tain­able fu­ture to­gether–em­brac­ing Tai­wan

BusinessMirror - - Opinion - Peiyung Hsu Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Taipei Eco­nomic and Cul­tural Of­fice in the Philip­pines

This year marks the 75th an­niver­sary of the found­ing of the United Na­tions, the world’s most renowned in­ter­gov­ern­men­tal or­ga­ni­za­tion. The UN is now con­ven­ing its an­nual Gen­eral Assem­bly at its Head­quar­ters in New York City un­til Septem­ber 30, 2020.

The theme for this year’s Gen­eral Assem­bly is “The fu­ture we want, the UN we need: Reaf­firm­ing our col­lec­tive com­mit­ment to mul­ti­lat­er­al­ism” in re­sponse to the global im­pact caused by the Covid-19 pan­demic. The UN has called for sol­i­dar­ity among na­tions and a “whole-of-the­world ap­proach” as the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity faces one of the most dev­as­tat­ing global crises of the 21st cen­tury.

Dur­ing this very try­ing time, Tai­wan has been able to suc­cess­fully con­tain the spread of the Covid-19, with around 509 con­firmed cases and seven deaths, through its proac­tive and timely ap­proach with­out hav­ing to re­sort to dras­tic mea­sures or lock­downs. Tai­wan was also quick to re­spond to the needs of other coun­tries through the do­na­tion of count­less med­i­cal equip­ment and sup­plies. By the end of June, it had al­ready do­nated 51 mil­lion sur­gi­cal masks, 1.16 mil­lion N95 masks, 600,000 iso­la­tion gowns, 35,000 fore­head ther­mome­ters, and other med­i­cal ma­te­ri­als to more than 80 coun­tries. Tai­wan has proven it­self to be one of the most valu­able global part­ners in com­bat­ing the Covid-19. How­ever, de­spite its will­ing­ness to take part and to share its ex­pe­ri­ences in com­bat­ing the pan­demic, Tai­wan re­mains ex­cluded from the UN sys­tem due to po­lit­i­cal con­sid­er­a­tion and China’s con­stant ob­jec­tion.

The UN has “pledged to leave no one be­hind as the world looks to re­cover from the pan­demic” while it con­tin­u­ously works to achieve its Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment Goals (SDGS). It is there­fore ironic that this vi­sion does not in­clude Tai­wan, a vi­brant model of democ­racy and a model for han­dling the Covid-19 pan­demic. The UN’S dis­crim­i­na­tory pol­icy against Tai­wan has pre­vented the coun­try from mak­ing sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tions to the wel­fare of the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity and pro­vid­ing valu­able in­for­ma­tion to the UN sys­tem and its mem­bers.

De­spite the years of dis­crim­i­na­tion and iso­la­tion, Tai­wan is al­ways ready and will­ing to lend a help­ing hand wher­ever it is needed. Tai­wan is also play­ing a ma­jor role in spear­head­ing de­vel­op­ment- cen­tered ini­tia­tives that are very much in line with the SDGS. Through its part­ner­ships with many other coun­tries and or­ga­ni­za­tions, Tai­wan has joined forces with like­minded democ­ra­cies, in­clud­ing the Philip­pines, to ex­plore the de­vel­op­ment of Covid-19 vac­cines. With a pos­i­tive eco­nomic pro­jec­tion, cou­pled with its proven pan­demic re­sponse and the re­silience to showcase its value as a global stake­holder, Tai­wan is will­ing and able to join hands with the global com­mu­nity in fac­ing cur­rent and fu­ture chal­lenges.

Tai­wan and the Philip­pines are close neigh­bors and long-stand­ing part­ners. We share an abun­dance of sim­i­lar­i­ties and up­hold the val­ues of free­dom, democ­racy, and the rule of law. There­fore, we urge all of our Filipino broth­ers and sis­ters to voice out your sup­port for Tai­wan’s equal and dig­ni­fied participat­ion in the UN sys­tem and its re­lated meet­ings, mech­a­nisms and ac­tiv­i­ties re­lated to the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the UN SDGS.

The world needs the spirit of col­lab­o­ra­tion, once again we call on the United Na­tions to take prompt ac­tion to ac­cept Tai­wan’s 23.5 mil­lion peo­ple into its fold so as to cre­ate a brighter, more in­clu­sive, and more sus­tain­able post-pan­demic era.

Tai­wan can help, and Tai­wan is help­ing!

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