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Taiwan issues first review of progress on sustainable development

2017/09/16 17:51:39

Photo courtesy of Environmental Protection Agency

New York, Sept. 15 (CNA) Taiwan presented its first Voluntary National Review (VNR) at a forum in New York on Friday to explain how the country has worked toward achieving the United Nations sustainable development goals (SDGs) even if it is not a U.N. member.

Environmental Protection Agency chief Lee Ying-yuan (李應元) presented the review at a seminar hosted by the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in New York, titled "A Sustainable Planet for All: Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals."

The review covered how Taiwan has implemented key policies to promote the U.N.'s 17 SDGs and its 169 targets as outlined in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

In his presentation, Lee said Taiwan is on a par with major developed countries in the five major areas of poverty, hunger, health, education, and gender equality.

Taiwan has also been proactive in establishing global partnerships in agriculture, public health, education, environmentalism, and information and communications technology, as well as helping other countries with their development, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said separately in a statement.

Lee said during his presentation that Taiwan will continue to amend and present a VNR each year with the hope that one day the U.N. will take notice and give Taiwan the respect it deserves.

This respect is what Foreign Affairs Minister David Lee (李大維) referred to when asking the U.N. to "stop turning us (Taiwan) away at the door" in his article titled "The United Nations Needs to Treat Taiwan Fairly."

The article published on Sept. 11 by The National Interest, an American bimonthly international affairs magazine, and Lee's presentation on Friday both offered examples of how Taiwan has embraced SDGs, especially in public health and the environment.

"Taiwan has worked alongside a host of other countries to fight such infectious diseases as MERS, Ebola and Zika," David Lee wrote in his article.

Taiwan also has a highly advanced recycling system, which a Taiwanese businessman has introduced to Romania, establishing the country's largest system for recycling polyethylene terephthalate (PET) water bottles, according to an EPA statement released Saturday.

EPA chief Lee expressed his hope that Taiwan's efforts in these areas of global importance can be understood and recognized by the international community.

His presentation at the TECO seminar, attended by U.N. representatives from Taiwan's allied states and development studies scholars, is part of Taiwan's ongoing push for greater participation in U.N.-related organizations.

(By Timothy Huang, Elaine Hou, Wu Hsin-yun, and Kuan-lin Liu)