By Roy Mabasa
A top-ranking official in Taiwan has deplored the United Nations for continuously violating the rights of its 23-million people by excluding and isolating them from the international system.
“By excluding a willing and able partner like Taiwan, the UN not only violates the fundamental human rights of Taiwan’s 23-million people but also greatly harms human welfare,” Taiwan Foreign Affairs Minister Jaushieh Joseph Wu said in a statement distributed worldwide.
The Taiwan Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in Manila released a copy of the statement over the weekend.
Wu made the call weeks before the 73rd UN General Assembly convenes in New York to discuss its theme, “Making the United Nations Relevant to All People: Global Leadership and Shared Responsibilities for Peaceful, Equitable and Sustainable Societies.”
“To ensure the UN remains relevant to all people, the organization should stand up to external pressures and open its doors to Taiwan,” he said.
Wu argued that their continued isolation in the global stage “violates the principle of universality upon which the UN was founded and deprives Taiwan as well as the international community of opportunities to work together for the common good.”
Though not being allowed to participate in the UN’s meetings, activities and mechanisms, Wu said Taiwan has never shirked its duties as a responsible stakeholder.
Last year, it has released its first Voluntary National Review, detailing Taiwan’s “whole-of-government approach” to implementing the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“The concrete results we have achieved include alleviating poverty, zero hunger, reducing the percentage of low-income households to under 2 percent, cutting the maternal mortality rate to just 11.6 per 100,000 people and under-five child mortality rate to just 2.4 per 1,000, and improving our literacy rate to 98.7 percent. All of these are well above UN SDG standards,” he said.
The Taiwanese official also chided the UN for continuously denying entry to Taiwan’s tourists, experts and professionals into the international body’s premises, and its alleged refusal to accept Taiwan’s passport.
On top of this, Wu complained that the UN has refused to accredit Taiwanese journalists covering its meetings and activities whose work, he added, “is in the interests of the people of Taiwan and the world.
Taiwan has long been campaigning for its inclusion in the UN since losing its seat in 1971 when the international body opted to recognize the People’s Republic of China.