Taiwan’s full participation is key to the success of UN’s sustainable development goals
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As Taiwan firmly pursues its goal of being a responsible stakeholder in the international arena, China continues its patently political attempts to throw up roadblocks at every turn. A vivid case in point is its relentless efforts to exclude Taiwan from playing a meaningful role in the United Nations family.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted at the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly in 2015, pledged the formation of a revitalized Global Partnership for Sustainable Development worldwide, where no one would be left behind. Yet Taiwan and its people, despite enthusiastic efforts to achieve these Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) via a Voluntary National Review released last year, have been left out in the cold in this global collaboration due to Beijing’s meddling. This blatantly goes against 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.

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Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Jaushieh Joseph Wu recently pointed out that “while Taiwan’s valuable contributions have been widely acclaimed around the globe, the UN continues to ignore what Taiwan can offer.” To our frustration, Taiwanese citizens are denied entry into UN premises because the UN does not accept our passport, which is welcomed by more than 160 countries/territories to have granted visa waiver status to Taiwan passport holders. Despite the fact that Taiwan is repeatedly ranked as one of the freest countries in the world by Freedom House and Reporters Without Borders, the UN has refused to grant access to Taiwan’s journalists to cover its meetings and activities.

Minister Wu further emphasized the need for like-minded countries to rally behind Taiwan as “China’s efforts to squeeze Taiwan continue to intensify and know no boundaries.” The enduring friendship of the United States administration and Congress is essential to the survival of a democratic Taiwan with the shared values of human rights and a vibrant market economy.

Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoUS-Iran tensions rise: Five things to know about oil tanker attack US-Iran tensions rise: Five things to know about oil tanker attack The US must do its part in closing the largest outdoor prison in the world MORE made that commitment crystal clear while addressing the participants at the Indo-Pacific Business Forum in the nation’s capital earlier this summer. Pompeo commented that “in Taiwan, economic development went hand-in-hand with creating an open, democratic society that blossomed into a high-tech powerhouse.”

Recent examples of the United States’ strengthening security and economic partnership with Taiwan have included the enactment of the Taiwan Travel Act in March, which “encourages visits between U.S. and Taiwanese officials at all levels”; the White House’s harsh criticism of “Orwellian nonsense” in May over Beijing’s aggressive attempt to pressure foreign airlines on how they refer to Taiwan; the grand unveiling of the new American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) compound in June; and the signing of the 2019 John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act which formalized China as “a long-term competitor” of the United States and called for a plan to “expand senior military-to-military engagement and joint training” and support for arms sales to Taiwan.

Through deepening ties with countries like the U.S., Japan and the European Union, Taiwan will be able to overcome the increased coercion and blackballing by Beijing. Taiwan will then successfully project a forward defense posture which will help maintain the peace and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific region.

As Foreign Minister Wu concluded, with the assistance of global partners standing up to rising autocratic authoritarian powers, Taiwan will not fail. “Taiwan is the David to China’s Goliath, and we will prevail.”

Stanley Kao is Representative of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States.