American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Deputy Director Jeremy Cornforth yesterday affirmed the US’ support for Taiwan’s participation in international organizations, as he praised the nation’s technological contributions.
Cornforth made the remarks at an awards ceremony for the annual Presidential Hackathon organized by the Executive Yuan.
This year’s theme, “Sustainability 2.0 Resilient Islands,” was inspired by lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly the need to create systems that are not just efficient, but also resilient.
Cornforth in his address lauded Taiwan’s commitment to fulfilling the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, despite being excluded from international organizations.
“Taiwan is a reliable partner, a vibrant democracy and a force for good in the world,” he said. “The United States will continue to support Taiwan as it seeks to engage internationally and meaningfully participate in international organizations.”
He also praised the hackathon as a means of envisioning technological solutions to social problems, rather than just seeing technology as a means to benefit businesses.
“Through events such as these, Taiwan not only reaffirms its status as a technological powerhouse, but also showcases that it is a good global citizen,” he said.
Taiwan has taken the concept of a hackathon and brought it to a whole new level, he said, while recognizing a Taiwanese team that earned the Best Use of Science award in this year’s NASA Space Apps Challenge.
President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) in her address touted the participants’ use of innovative technology to “demonstrate Taiwan’s resilience.”
The five winning teams were among 164 who made proposals to address “pressing policy priorities for Taiwan,” including energy transformation, decarbonization, marine and river conservation, and healthcare, she said.
Climate action was the focus for teams in the international track, many of whom included Taiwanese, Tsai added, recognizing two winners who created systems to help farmers adapt to climate change and drivers switch to cycling.
In closing, she thanked all participants for working with the government to seek solutions to global challenges.
“We will continue to cooperate with the private sector to address these issues using innovative technology to help Taiwan become a sustainable island of resilience,” Tsai said.
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