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Tsai congratulates St. Vincent on winning U.N. seat in parliament speech

2019/07/17 15:51:30

Kingstown, St. Vincent July 17 (CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) congratulated the nation's Caribbean ally, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, on securing a seat on the United Nations Security Council last month.

During her address at the St. Vincent and the Grenadines House of Assembly, the president, who is visiting the Caribbean ally for the first time, said that promoting world peace and security in the UN Security Council, the international body's highest decision-making body, "is a high honor, and a great achievement."

"As longtime allies, we share in your pride," she said, without elaborating.

Although Taiwan is not a U.N. member, the president said her country, like St. Vincent, has been a responsible member of the international community by cooperating with international partners on issues that require global cooperation.

In the Caribbean ally, for instance, Taiwan has been offering assistance in various fields for the long-term development of St. Vincent, she said.

She named a number of projects Taiwan has launched in the country as concrete examples, among them including a banana revitalization project, a project to prevent and control diabetes, a joint intelligent bus management and monitoring system project, as well as Taiwanese scholarships to outstanding local students to study in Taiwan.

In return, St. Vincent has been a long-term supporter for Taiwan's international participation as its leaders repeatedly speak up for the country in global venues, Tsai said.

"At last year's U.N. General Assembly General Debate, Prime Minister (Ralph) Gonsalves said: 'There is simply no principled basis to deny Taiwan the right to participate in the work of the specialized agencies of the United Nations.'"

She also took the opportunity to thank St. Vincent's Health Minister Luke Browne, who made an "inspiring" speech at May's World Health Assembly (WHA) on Taiwan's behalf.

According to Tsai, in his speech at the WHA following Taiwan's third consecutive year of being denied entry to the decision-making body of the World Health Organization (WHO), Browne said that the interests of Taiwan's 23 million people should not be held to ransom by political preferences.

"His courageous words have stayed with me to this day," Tsai told Browne, who was among the attendants at her speech in the House of Assembly.

In closing, Tsai thanked St. Vincent for always being a loyal ally and close partner.

"We share a common vision for universal human rights. So I hope that you will continue to support Taiwan in the international arena as we work together to achieve the U.N.'s Sustainable Development Goals, and make our world a better place for future generations," she said.

Following her address, Tsai visited the St. Vincent Botanical Gardens, the oldest botanical gardens in the Western Hemisphere, where she planted a tree.

At the bird park of the gardens, Tsai was greeted by the national bird of the island, the Saint Vincent amazon, who said "Ni Hao" or "hello" in Chinese.

Her tight schedule also included witnessing a ceremony to donate a batch of police cars to the island before wrapping up the day by attending a banquet hosted by Gonsalves.

Tsai was scheduled to depart St. Vincent around noon Wednesday local time before heading to St. Lucia for three days on the last leg of her state visit four of the nation's Caribbean allies, including Haiti and St. Kitts and Nevis.

On her return, Tsai will spend two nights in the United States before flying back to Taiwan July 22.

(By Yeh Su-ping and Joseph Yeh)
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