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Tuvalu’s contributions to Taiwan
Support for Taiwan’s Participation in International Organizations: In recognition of Tuvalu’s strong diplomatic ties with Taiwan, as well as the tremendous support Taiwan has provided to Tuvalu over the long term, important figures in the Tuvalu government have made it their mission to speak out in support of Taiwan during regional and international meetings including meetings of the United Nations, the World Health Organization, and the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, thereby increasing attention to Taiwan’s struggle for global recognition. Tuvalu has also supported Taiwan’s attempts to participate in UN specialized agencies and other international organizations and has assisted Taiwanese representatives to join several UN meetings.
Examples of Tuvalu speaking out on behalf of Taiwan are numerous. For instance, on 27th September, 2014, during the 69th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, Tuvalu’s Prime Minister Honorable Enele Sosene Sopoaga made the following statement:
Tuvalu also fully supports Taiwan’s meaningful participation in UN specialized agencies and mechanisms, including the WHO, ICAO and the UNFCCC. We recognize the cooperative spirit shown by Taiwan in their involvement in the Post 2015 Development agenda. We recognize the need to include Taiwan in the global fight against climate change. We recognize Taiwan’s role as a regional peace maker. Taiwan supports scholarships and capacity building for experts, students and officials from many developing countries in all sectors, including my own country Tuvalu.
In December 2014, during a meeting for the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, Prime Minister Sopoaga also stated that
For a truly global and universal response to climate change, Tuvalu ALSO strongly supports the meaningful participation of the twenty-three million people of the Republic of China/Taiwan in the climate change negotiations. ROC/Taiwan is amongst the top ten largest economies of the world and a major GHG emitter. They have also made significant commitments of GHG reduction targets to be achieved in parallel and comparative to many industrialised nations. The ROC is also already contributing immensely to technology development and transfer, and capacity building for adaptation to many peoples of the world to cope with climate change. The active and meaningful participation of the ROC/Taiwan in the UNFCCC processes is critical, and as such must be considered in earnest.
The Governor General of Tuvalu, Sir Iakoba Taeia Italeli, has also demonstrated support for Taiwan in his speeches, and expressed the following sentiment during his state visit to Taiwan in November 2014:
Given the importance of this issue to both our countries, Tuvalu, in recognition of the crucial role and active participation of Taiwan in combating climate change, fully supports the application and participation of Taiwan as Observer at the UNFCCC process. I am confident that the global community will render its full support to the Republic of China (Taiwan) to regain its rightful place in these global processes.
Disaster Aid: Tuvalu has also provided crucial aid to Taiwan for use during disaster recovery. After Typhoon Morakot devastated Taiwan in 2009, Tuvalu donated US$210,000 to Taiwan’s recovery efforts, a sum equivalent to approximately 1% of Tuvalu’s GDP in that year.
Projects Enacted By Taiwan to benefit Tuvalu
Education, Training, and Scholarship Programs: Currently, Taiwan offers two scholarships for Tuvaluan students hoping to study for their Bachelor’s, Master’s, or PhD degrees in Taiwan: the MOFA Taiwan Scholarship sponsored by Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the International Higher Education Scholarship sponsored by the TaiwanICDF. The Taiwanese government also hosts annual short-term training programs for Tuvaluan citizens, as well as citizens from other countries maintaining diplomatic relations with Taiwan, which take place both domestically and abroad. For example, the 2014 Tuvalu Youth Technician Training Program was hosted by Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Labor from September through November, 2014 in Taichung City, Taiwan.
Technical Aid Projects: Technical aid projects developed between Tuvalu and Taiwan include the 2014 Alternative Military Services Project and the Overseas Services Team project. These projects send volunteers to Tuvalu to provide citizens with a variety of services and enhance the delivery of technical aid abroad. Volunteer services include collaboration regarding environmental protection, education (e.g., training in English, math, natural sciences, art, music, and computers), information technology, public health, agricultural development, and cultural exchange. (Source: Taiwan's MOFA and ICDF)
Food Safety Projects: Food safety projects include the 2011 Tuvalu Aquaculture Project and the 2012 to 2014 Project to Cultivate Horticultural Crops in Tuvalu. These projects adopt advanced techniques in aquaculture and agriculture to assist Tuvaluan citizens establish training sites and develop techniques for cultivating various crops, and have been developed to enhance Tuvalu’s self-sufficiency and encourage the adoption of balanced diets among Tuvaluan citizens. In 2011, a demonstration was conducted during which milkfish were cultivated and local raw materials were adopted to develop practical feed formulas for the fish. Additionally, an aquaculture station was established in Funafuti to serve as a base for the development of Tuvalu’s aquaculture industry. This work station was created not only to provide for the needs of the Tuvaluan people but also to offer a substitute for the nation’s reliance on fishing activities. Furthermore, during the execution of cooperative projects, an “Aquaculture Management and Technical Methods Manual” and “Feed Formula Manual” were published and public workshops were held to train personnel and further educate officials in Tuvalu’s fisheries department.
Starting in 2012, Taiwan also began to emphasize techniques for cultivating fruits and vegetables in Tuvalu, as well as demonstrations of these techniques. Taiwan began to provide assistance regarding the establishment of commercial farms, home and school gardens, and composting plants, and educated Tuvaluan citizens concerning sprout propagation and vegetable cultivation, as well as the production of fruits and vegetables. Through the introduction of training courses on crop cultivation and cooking, personnel from Taiwan have promoted the importance of eating fruits and vegetables, advanced concepts of nutritional balance, and initiated a project on nutritional lunches. This project also focused on the compilation of manuals for farm management, cultivation, and compost production, and trained professionals and government personnel regarding the importance of upholding SOPs. All personnel involved in the training project acquired the ability to independently conduct and teach sprout propagation, farm management, pest control, sales, and other types of independent work. (Source: Taiwan's MOFA and ICDF)
Cooperative Projects on Health and Hygiene: Cooperative projects on health and hygiene include the 2011 Mobile Medical Unit Project and the 2012 to 2014 Project to Provide Clinical Services to Allied Pacific Countries. These projects involve dispatching “Mobile Medical Units” and “Clinical Treatment Teams” to Pacific nations and demonstrate not only immediate treatment efficacy and improvements to medical treatment environments, but also achieve optimal results with a high level of flexibility and only minimal expenditure. Consequently, these projects have exercised significant effects on communities in various Pacific countries. In 2010, Taiwan investigated Tuvalu’s health requirements to effectively enhance the caliber of domestic medical treatments and improve the health of the Tuvaluan people, and, starting in 2011, began to send treatment teams to Tuvalu to provide diagnostic and health services. While providing these services, treatment teams also disseminate information regarding public health and establish disease prevention techniques. Additionally, treatment teams host symposiums to enhance dialogue between medical workers from Taiwan and Tuvalu and strive to improve the healthcare and health education abilities of medical personnel in the country. (Source: Taiwan's MOFA and ICDF)
Disaster Aid: Taiwan has also provided crucial aid to Tuvalu for use during disaster recovery. After Tropical Cyclone Pam devastated Tuvalu in 2015, the Taiwanese government donated AU$80,000 to Tuvalu’s recovery efforts and the TaiwanICDF donated US$200,000.
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