Palauan President Surangel Whipps Jr on Tuesday called for Taiwan’s participation at the UN on the first day of the UN General Assembly’s 76th session in New York City.
In his 13-minute General Debate address, Whipps thanked Palau’s international allies for coming to its aid during the COVID-19 pandemic, in particular Taiwan, the US, Japan and Australia.
Their assistance — including donations of COVID-19 vaccines, personal protective gear and testing capacity — allowed Palau to remain “COVID-free and COVID-safe,” Whipps said.
Photo taken from the official UN Web site
More than 80 percent of Palau’s population has been fully vaccinated, and there have been no deaths or hospitalizations resulting from COVID-19, for which the people of Palau are forever grateful, he said.
The Palauan leader highlighted Taiwan’s leadership in the global response against the pandemic and its demonstration of “consistent and effective management of the pandemic within their borders,” efforts that extend to Palau.
“Taiwan’s international response facilitated cooperation and implementation of an effective sterile travel corridor between Taiwan and Palau,” the president said.
The sterile corridor, or “travel bubble,” has allowed the two nations to resume medical and educational cooperation, economic engagement and other benefits of international travel, he said.
“We encourage the UN system to accept Taiwan as a valuable contributor to our collective efforts and strongly advocate for Taiwan’s participation in the UN system,” he said.
With the world facing major challenges, Whipps used the analogy of a Palauan fish, the surgeonfish, to call for global unity.
“The surgeonfish represents a unique characteristic. They fish to graze and roam on the reef alone, eating algae, but once danger lurks, they all swim quickly from wherever they are along the reef and come together in a large school, resembling an intimidating ocean animal to provide safety and security for all,” he said.
He called on the international community to “act like the surgeonfish and come together, including Taiwan.”
“Taiwan’s 23.5 million people must also be given a voice as our UN Charter states,” he said.
“We the peoples of all nations working together can overcome the challenges of our time, from COVID to climate, and act with integrity and resolve to leave a better world for our children,” he said.
He was the first leader of Taiwan’s 15 diplomatic allies to speak at the General Debate, which finishes on Monday next week.
The presidents of Guatemala, the Marshall Islands and Honduras — three more of Taiwan’s diplomatic allies — were to speak at the General Debate yesterday.
Haitian Minister of Foreign Affairs Claude Joseph wrote of Haiti’s support for Taiwan’s inclusion in the UN system on Twitter.
“Faced with the challenges facing our world, in economic, security and health terms, we need a pooling of all forces. The Republic of Haiti reiterates its support for Taiwan’s reintegration into the UN,” Joseph wrote.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) wrote on Twitter: “Thank you @claudejoseph03 for choosing to #StandWithTaiwan. The government & people of #Taiwan are grateful for #Haiti’s staunch support of the country’s bid to participate in the @UN system via forums like #UNGA.”
WHEELING AND DEALING? Hou You-yi, Ko Wen-je, Eric Chu and Ma Ying-jeou are under investigation for allegedly offering bribes for the other side to drop out of the race Taipei prosecutors have started an investigation into allegations that four top politicians involved in attempts to form a “blue-white” presidential ticket have contravened election regulations. Listed as defendants are Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate and New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜), KMT Chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫), former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) of the KMT and Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) Chairman and presidential candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲). The case stemmed from judicial complaints filed last month with the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office alleging that the KMT (blue) and the TPP (white) had engaged in bribery by offering money or other enticements
COUNTER DISINFORMATION: More engagement and media literacy are needed to push back against misinformation and claims that the US is an unreliable partner, the AIT director said The US is “confident” that Taiwan does not face an imminent threat of a Chinese invasion, American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Director Sandra Oudkirk told a US public radio show, adding that Washington remains committed to defensively arming the nation. She made the comment during an interview on All Things Considered, broadcast on Friday on US-based National Public Radio. “There is an important distinction between making plans and training troops, and getting ready to do something,” Oudkirk said, on whether she thinks Beijing plans to attack Taiwan in the near future. Chinese officials have told Washington that “their preference is for peaceful reunification,
EXPOSED: Some Taipei wardens reported joining the trips out of peer pressure, while others said they were relieved it was made public so they could refuse, a city councilor said Nearly 30 percent of Taipei borough wardens have joined group tours to China that were partially funded by the Chinese government, leading prosecutors probing potential Chinese interference in January’s elections to question local officials, an investigation showed. Democratic Progressive Party Taipei City councilors Chien Shu-pei (簡舒培) and Chen E-jun (陳怡君) have reported cases of Taipei borough wardens inviting residents to join inexpensive privately organized group tours to China that were partially funded by the Chinese government. The six-day trips reportedly cost NT$10,000 to NT$15,000, the councilors said. An investigation by the Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper) showed that nearly 30 percent
ELIGIBLE FOR JANUARY: All presidential candidates and their running mates meet the requirements to run for office, and none hold dual citizenship, the CEC said Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) Legislator and vice presidential candidate Cynthia Wu (吳欣盈) is working with the Central Election Commission (CEC) to resolve issues with her financial disclosure statement, a spokesman for the candidate said yesterday, after the commission published the statements of all three presidential candidates and their running mates, while confirming their eligibility to run in the Jan. 13 election. Wu’s office spokesman, Chen Yu-cheng (陳宥丞), said the candidate encountered unforeseen difficulties disclosing her husband’s finances due to being suddenly thrust into the campaign. She is also the first vice presidential nominee to have a foreign spouse, complicating the reporting of