President of Nauru urges U.N. to embrace Taiwan

New York-The new president of Nauru on Thursday urged the United Nations to accept Taiwan as a "willing and capable partner" that he said can help achieve its sustainable development goals.

Lionel Rouwen Aingimea, who took the office in August, made the call when addressing the U.N. General Assembly's annual general debate, following the release of an official statement pledging continued support for Taiwan the same day.

At U.N. headquarters, Aingimea said: "It is not enough to proclaim the virtue of multilateralism without strengthening the commitment of achieving sustainable development goals for citizens everywhere."

He added that it is not sustainable if it is not fair and inclusive, and therefore "we call on the United Nations to embrace willing and capable partners like Taiwan in its SDG (sustainable development goals) endeavors."

"Taiwan is ready to share the experience it has accumulated in reaching a level of success with its partner countries including Nauru," he said. "In 2018 alone, Taiwan conducted development projects in various SDG fields."

"Mr. president, it's about time that the U.N. lived up to the ideals it espouses," Aingimea urged.

In 2015, all member states of the multinational organization adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which provides a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future, according to the U.N.

At the agenda's heart are 17 SDGs, which the U.N. described as "an urgent call for action by all countries -- developed and developing -- in a global partnership" in the face of tough challenges like ending poverty, reducing inequality and tackling climate change.

However, the 23 million people of Taiwan are not included in the agenda because Taiwan is not a U.N. member.

Taiwan now has diplomatic relations with just 15 nations around the world, including Nauru, after it lost two allies -- the Solomon Islands and Kiribati -- last week. Taiwan cut ties with the two Pacific island nations after they decided to switch recognition to Beijing.

A Taiwan supporter, Aingimea called Taiwan "a good partner" in the statement released before his speech at the U.N.

"Nauru considers its relationship with Taiwan as that of family and we stand with Taiwan in holding democratic values and the rule of law," he said.

Aingimea was the only national leader to speak up for Taiwan at Thursday's general debate of the 193-member-assembly. Since the event began on Tuesday, four of Taiwan's allies have spelled out their support for Taipei, namely Eswatini, Palau, Guatemala and Nauru.

Taiwan strives for meaningful participation in international organizations but is often prevented from doing so by Beijing, which regards Taiwan as part of Chinese territory.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel