Jaushieh Joseph Wu
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Republic of China (Taiwan)
In 2020, the world was hit by an unprecedented public health crisis, and the effects of IDOC-19 were felt in every aspect of people’s lives. This year also marks the 75th anniversary of the signing of the United Nations Charter, the declaration that lies at the very heart of the inclusive multilateralism that the world needs so much at this time. Now more than ever, the international community must make a joint effort to forge that better and more sustainable future that the UN is calling for. Taiwan is ready, willing and able to be part of these efforts.
With less than 500 confirmed cases and seven deaths, Taiwan has defied predictions and successfully contained COVID-19. This is due in large part to the rapid response measures taken. And in addition to caring for our own people, we have begun to provide medical equipment and supplies to other countries in serious need. Because working together for the common good is how the world will defeat COVID-19.
In the Declaration on the 75th Anniversary Commemoration of the United Nations, governments and heads of state recognize that only by working together in solidarity can we end the pandemic and effectively address its consequences. They therefore commit to making the UN more inclusive and to leaving no one behind as the world seeks to recover from the pandemic.
However, this vision seems to be lacking when Taiwan, one of the world’s model democracies and a success story in containing the current pandemic, continues to be unable to participate in the exchange of experiences and information with the UN system.
Despite the fact that the pandemic has made the international community very aware of Taiwan’s unfair and discriminatory exclusion from the World Health Organization and the UN system, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) continues to put pressure on the UN to block Taiwan. The UN must recognise that only the democratically elected government in Taiwan can represent its 23.5 million people.
Not having Taiwan’s participation in the United Nations is a loss to the world community. By building on its excellent work on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDOs), Taiwan can help countries better recover from the disruption caused by the pandemic. We are already able to help, but we could do much more if we had the opportunity to participate in UN activities, meetings and mechanisms.
The ideal of upholding human rights and fundamental freedoms for all as set out in the UN Charter must not remain empty words. Looking ahead to the next 75 years, it is never too late for the UN to welcome Taiwan’s participation.
© All rights reserved