December 3, 2021

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Supporting Taiwan’s Participation in the UN System

11 min read

Antony J. Blinken, Secretary of State

Taiwan has become a democratic success story.  Its model supports transparency, respect for human rights, and the rule of law – values that align with those of the United Nations (UN).  Taiwan is critical to the global high-tech economy and a hub of travel, culture, and education.  We are among the many UN member states who view Taiwan as a valued partner and trusted friend.

As the international community faces an unprecedented number of complex and global issues, it is critical for all stakeholders to help address these problems.  This includes the 24 million people who live in Taiwan.  Taiwan’s meaningful participation in the UN system is not a political issue, but a pragmatic one.

The fact that Taiwan participated robustly in certain UN specialized agencies for the vast majority of the past 50 years is evidence of the value the international community places in Taiwan’s contributions.  Recently, however, Taiwan has not been permitted to contribute to UN efforts.  Despite the tens of millions of passengers traveling annually through its airports, Taiwan was not represented at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) triennial assembly.  Although we have much to learn from Taiwan’s world-class response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Taiwan was not at the World Health Assembly.  Members of civil society from around the world engage every day in activities at the UN, but Taiwan’s scientists, technical experts, business persons, artists, educators, students, human rights advocates, and others are blocked from entry and participating in these activities simply because of the passports they hold.

Taiwan’s exclusion undermines the important work of the UN and its related bodies, all of which stand to benefit greatly from its contributions.  We need to harness the contributions of all stakeholders toward solving our shared challenges.  That is why we encourage all UN Member States to join us in supporting Taiwan’s robust, meaningful participation throughout the UN system and in the international community, consistent with our “one China” policy, which is guided by the Taiwan Relations Act, the three Joint Communiques, and the Six Assurances.

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