"At the very least, stop turning us away at the door."
The 76th anniversary of the United Nations (UN) is arriving when the world is still faced with the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic. As highly-contagious variants of the virus continuously affect us, the world needs a more effective UN to help recover from the COVID-19.
The UN responds by declaring the theme for this year’s General Assembly, which is to be held in New York on 14-30 September 2021, as “Building resilience through hope – to recover from COVID-19, rebuild sustainability, respond to the needs of the planet, respect the rights of people, and revitalize the United Nations.” The realization of the UN’s vision requires all of us at the table.
After almost a year of successfully containing the virus, Taiwan experienced a surge of confirmed cases in mid-May this year. Nonetheless, it has stabilized the situation with effective anti-pandemic responses, and emerged as a more reliable partner to work with in the global community on the fight against the COVID-19. Taiwan has also dedicated itself to implementing the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and joins hands in pandemic response with like-minded countries, including the Philippines.
Despite Taiwan’s effective response against the pandemic and the important role it played in the global supply chain, the government and people of Taiwan continuously face difficulties when attempting to take part in the mechanisms, meetings and activities of the UN system. This situation erodes the United Nations principle of universality.
Multilateral collaboration requires bilateral cooperation. As close neighbors and maritime nations, Taiwan and the Philippines are enduring partners which uphold the values of freedom, democracy, and the rule of law. The continued threat posed by the pandemic calls for the spirit of “bayanihan” to bring everyone to the table. We sincerely hope our Filipino brothers and sisters will voice their support for Taiwan’s participation in the UN system. The people of Taiwan need the international community to support our aspirations and our right to fair treatment by the UN. At the very least, stop turning us away at the door.
Taiwan can do much to help build a more resilient UN system. Let Taiwan be Taiwan and it is the right time to bring Taiwan to the table.
Taipei Economic and Cultural Office
in the Philippines