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Paraguay, Palau call for Taiwan's inclusion in COP

12/02/2023 04:51 PM
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Representatives of Taiwan’s allies to COP28, Asterio Appi from Nauru, Seve Paeniu from Tuvalu, Steven Victor from Palau, and Shih Li-chun, deputy secretary-general of ICDF (front row, from right) attend an event at COP 28 on Dec. 1 in support for Taiwan’s inclusion in the UNFCCC. CNA photo Dec.1, 2023
Representatives of Taiwan’s allies to COP28, Asterio Appi from Nauru, Seve Paeniu from Tuvalu, Steven Victor from Palau, and Shih Li-chun, deputy secretary-general of ICDF (front row, from right) attend an event at COP 28 on Dec. 1 in support for Taiwan’s inclusion in the UNFCCC. CNA photo Dec.1, 2023

Dubai, Dec. 1 (CNA) Paraguayan President Santiago Peña and his Palauan counterpart Surangel Whipps Jr. on Friday called for Taiwan's inclusion in the United Nation's annual climate change conference.

Noting that climate change is a common challenge, Peña, speaking in his national statement at the 28th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 28), called for the participation of the Republic of China, Taiwan's official name, in COP meetings.

COP 28, where government leaders and envoys have gathered to explore ways to tackle the challenge of climate change, is being held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates from Nov. 30 to Dec. 12.

The Palauan president echoed Peña's view, saying "Taiwan must be allowed to participate in UNFCCC processes and share [its] expertise."

He was referring to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, an intergovernmental treaty developed to try to address climate change under which COP is held annually.

"The solution to the climate crisis requires everyone's participation," Whipps said, adding that "the 23 million people of Taiwan and the thousands of businesses" should not be excluded.

According to Whipps, Taiwan has worked in tandem with Pacific islands and like-minded partners to contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation.

The Taiwanese government was not invited to COP 28 due to a lack of U.N. membership and Beijing's efforts to drastically limit Taiwan's international participation.

Since 1995, the country's officials have taken part in the annual conference through the government-funded Industrial Technology Research Institute acting as an NGO observer.

In addition to Whipps, Palau's Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and the Environment Steven Victor told CNA at a separate forum that it was "unfortunate" that Taiwan had been excluded from the UNFCCC process and relevant global efforts to deal with climate change issues.

"While Taiwan is not a member of the UNFCCC, it has done its part as a member of the global community and we are very much appreciative of Taiwan's commitments," Victor said.

The minister noted that his country had received financial support from Taiwan in its effort to mitigate the impact of rising sea levels, in particular for the construction of sea walls.

Speaking in a similar vein, Tuvaluan Finance Minister Seve Paeniu lauded Taiwan's emergency assistance to the Pacific island nation when it was hit by a severe drought late last year as well as by a severe cyclone in early 2020.

(By Tien Hsi-ju and Teng Pei-ju)

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