Taipei, An international framework co-founded by Taiwan and the United States to share expertise in disaster relief with the world was joined by the United Kingdom as a co-host during a seminar in Taipei on Wednesday for the first time since its launch in 2015.
In a Global Cooperation and Training Framework (GCTF) workshop on building resilience to disaster among nations, John Dennis, representative of the British Office Taipei, which represents British interests in Taiwan in the absence of official ties, said his office was very pleased for the first time to co-host the GCTF with friends from Taiwan, the U.S., and Japan.
As the workshop was held a day before the 10th anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami of March 11 2011, Dennis said the solemn anniversary underscores the importance and relevance of the workshop.
According to the representative, U.K. International Climate Finance (ICF) has invested 5.8 billion pounds (US$6.94 billion) between 2016 and 2021 across a wide range of development partners, supporting 66 million people to build resilience against climate change-related threats and disasters.
In closing, Dennis thanked Taiwan for providing the GCTF platform to share the U.K.’s know-how in this field to global experts.
“I hope this is the first of many such collaborations and look forward with high ambition to the future,” he added.
Speaking at the same event, Brent Christensen, director of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), welcomed the U.K. as the first-time co-host of the GCTF.
The director of the AIT, which represents U.S. interests in the absence of official diplomatic ties, said he is very impressed with Taiwan’s world-class capabilities in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, as Taiwan has been enhancing its ability to respond to natural disasters since the 9/21 earthquake of 1999.
He also praised Taiwan’s track record of contributing post-disaster relief efforts worldwide — in the wake of Japan’s 2011 earthquake and tsunami — to Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines in 2013 and assistance to Nepal following the earthquake there in 2015.
The U.S. also benefited from Taiwan’s help, including donations following Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and other natural disasters, he said.
“Just as the Taiwan model on managing COVID-19 showed the world how to successfully contain the pandemic, the Taiwan model for responding to disasters also demonstrates impressive best practices. I would encourage you all to consider how your countries can work more closely with Taiwan in this area,” he added.
The GCTF is an initiative launched by Taiwan and the U.S. in June 2015 to bring Taiwan’s expertise to the global stage because many international institutions do not allow Taiwan to participate due to Chinese pressure. Japan later joined the platform as a full partner in 2019.
According to Taiwan’s foreign ministry, Wednesday’s workshop was attended by ambassadors and representatives from 19 countries currently stationed in Taiwan.
Another 110 officials and disaster prevention experts from 35 countries worldwide participated in the workshop online, according to the ministry.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel