Dutch magazine publishes Taiwanese foreign minister's article calling for UN participation

Joseph Wu highlights Taiwan's international contributions in op-ed for The Post Online

Foreign Minister Joseph Wu. 

Foreign Minister Joseph Wu.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) wrote an editorial that was run by a Dutch publication on Saturday (Sept. 5), stating that Taiwan can contribute to the world if given the chance and calling on the UN to allow the nation to participate in associated organizations.

With the UN General Assembly fast approaching, Wu penned an article for The Post Online titled "Political exclusion blocks Taiwanese aid and that is unfair.”

In his article, Wu stated that Taiwan has successfully controlled the Wuhan coronavirus while tallying fewer than 500 confirmed cases and 7 deaths. He attributed this success to Taiwan’s rapid response, the establishment of a Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), strict enforcement of border control, quarantine procedures, and transparent information sharing.

Wu wrote that after ensuring its domestic supply was sufficient, the nation began providing medical equipment and materials to other countries in urgent need. He mentioned that by the end of June, Taiwan had donated 51 million surgical masks, 1.16 million N95 masks, 600,000 sets of protective clothing, and 35,000 forehead thermometers to more than 80 countries and cooperated with countries that share democratic values to develop fast-screening reagents and vaccines.

Wu said that the epidemic has made the international community acutely aware that the policy of excluding Taiwan from the World Health Organization (WHO) is a wrong and unfair practice. However, he remarked that China continues to pressure the UN to exclude Taiwan from participating in related activities.

Wu also mentioned that Taiwan’s economy is showing resilience, citing the Asian Development Bank's prediction that Taiwan’s economic performance will rank first among the four Asian Tigers this year. In addition, he emphasized that Taiwan has proven its ability to respond to various global challenges, including epidemic prevention and the UN's Sustainable Development Goals, such as gender equality, economic growth, clean drinking water, poverty eradication, health and hygiene, and people’s well-being.

Wu wrote that Taiwan is assisting its partners in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America, and the Pacific in areas such as clean energy, pollution treatment, and disaster prevention. He argued that if Taiwan can participate in UN activities, meetings, and mechanisms, it can provide even more assistance to the world.

However, Wu noted that on top of Taiwan's exclusion from UN agencies, its journalists cannot even cover UN meetings. “This discriminatory policy is contrary to the principle of universality and equality on which the UN is founded,” Wu stated.

He concluded by saying that ideals such as respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, as set out in the UN Charter, should not be empty words. He added that it will never be too late for the UN to welcome Taiwan into the fold.

The 75th UN General Assembly is scheduled to begin on Sept. 15th.

Updated : 2021-01-21 07:55 GMT+08:00