《TAIPEI TIMES》 Allies support Taiwan in UN talks on climate
Paraguay President Santiago Pena speaks during a plenary session at the COP28 UN Climate Summit in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on Friday. Photo: AP
MISSING PIECE: Palau’s environment minister called Taiwan’s exclusion from COP28 ‘unfortunate,’ adding that it has helped Palau to build sea walls
/ Staff writer, with CNA
Paraguayan President Santiago Pena and Palauan President Surangel Whipps Jr on Friday called for Taiwan’s inclusion in the UN’s annual conference on climate change.
Calling climate change a common challenge for all countries, Pena, speaking in his national statement at the UN Climate Change Conference （COP28） in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, urged the participation of the Republic of China in the meetings.
The conference, where government leaders and envoys gather to explore ways to tackle issues related to climate change, started on Thursday and ends on Dec. 12.
Whipps echoed Pena, saying that “Taiwan must be allowed to participate in UNFCCC [United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change] processes and share [its] expertise.”
The UNFCCC is an intergovernmental treaty developed to address climate change. The UN’s climate summits serve as the formal meetings of UNFCCC members.
“The solution to the climate crisis requires everyone’s participation,” Whipps said, adding that “the 23 million people of Taiwan and the thousands of businesses” should not be excluded.
Taiwan has worked in tandem with Pacific islands and like-minded partners to contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation, he said.
Taiwan was not invited to COP28 because it is not a member of the UN, and due to Beijing’s efforts to drastically limit the country’s participation in international organizations.
Since 1995, Taiwanese officials have participated in the annual conference through the government-funded Industrial Technology Research Institute, acting as a non-governmental organization observer.
Palauan Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and the Environment Steven Victor told a separate forum that it was “unfortunate” that Taiwan had been excluded from the UNFCCC process and other global efforts to deal with climate change issues.
“While Taiwan is not a member of the UNFCCC, it has done its part as a member of the global community, and we are very much appreciative of Taiwan’s commitments,” Victor said.
The minister added that Taiwan had provided Palau with financial support to help it mitigate the effects of rising sea levels, with the construction of seal walls in particular.
Similarly, Tuvaluan Minister of Finance and Economic Development Seve Paeniu lauded Taiwan’s emergency assistance to the Pacific island nation when it was hit by a severe drought late last year, as well as by a severe cyclone in early 2020.
In Taipei, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday expressed gratitude for the support.
It also reiterated Taiwan’s willingness to fulfill its responsibility as a member of the international community, and work with like-minded partners to combat climate change in the spirit of “Taiwan can help.”
Palauan President Surangel Whipps Jr delivers a national statement at the COP28 UN climate summit in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on Friday. Photo: Reuters