Taiwan Can Help
In the fast-changing international landscape where countries are facing unprecedented challenges, the need for collaboration has never been greater. As a vibrant democracy and responsible stakeholder in the global community, Taiwan is committed to being part of the solution.
Showcasing its readiness and ability to contribute to multilateral initiatives, the country launched a U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) campaign in September with events on the sidelines of the 73rd General Assembly in New York. Themed U.N. Global Goals—Taiwan Can Help, it called for a resolution to the issue of the nation’s exclusion from the U.N. system and highlighted its desire and qualifications to assist in the achievement of the SDGs. It also spotlighted Taiwan’s efforts to help other nations accomplish these goals in areas like environmental protection and medical care through the work of International Cooperation and Development Fund (TaiwanICDF), the country’s foremost foreign aid organisation.
Collaboration is also fundamental to tackling one of the key threats to global security today: climate change. Despite being excluded from the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the major platform for limiting greenhouse gas emissions, Taiwan is a staunch supporter of the convention and continues to pursue meaningful participation. Thanks to the nation’s vibrant civil society, 10 Taiwan nongovernmental organisations have been granted observer status by the UNFCCC and are expected to attend the next Conference of the Parties December 3-14 in Katowice, Poland.
While the country is unwavering in its efforts to advance global cooperation, it is also a major partner in regional initiatives. A member economy of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) since 1991, Taiwan has been at the forefront of a slew of successful development programmes. In recent years it has worked to deliver tangible progress in such areas as gender equality and the growth of small and medium enterprises (SME). The Economy Forum in September approved two Taiwan proposals on female empowerment in the energy sector and start-ups. The country has also been spearheading the APEC Onlineto-Offline Program, a four-year initiative aimed at enhancing the digital competitiveness and resilience of SMEs.
Cooperation with nations in the region has been strengthened through Taiwan’s New Southbound Policy (NSP). A key plank in the country’s national development strategy, the NSP seeks to deepen Taiwan’s agricultural, business, cultural, education, tourism and trade ties with the 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations member states, six South Asian countries, Australia and New Zealand. Its accomplishments can be seen across a broad spectrum of areas.
Bilateral trade with target countries climbed 15 per cent last year, with Taiwan’s investment in the nations rising by 54 per cent during the same period.
The country is also working with the U.S. to enhance long-term regional prosperity through the Pacific Islands Leadership Program with Taiwan. The capacitybuilding project is aimed at helping participants develop governance skills and vision. Organised by the Institute of Diplomacy and International Affairs under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in cooperation with Hawaii-based East-West Center, the programme this year enrolled 22 young professionals from 12 countries including diplomatic allies Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu.
Whether from a global or regional perspective, Taiwan is a committed and responsible partner actively engaging with like-minded countries to solve the most pressing issues of our time. Determined in this endeavour, the nation will continue to pursue greater international participation under the principle that Taiwan can help.