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Remarks by Deputy Minister Tien, Chung-kwang at the welcome reception for the 32nd International Congress of the Medical Women's International Association 2022

  • Data Source:Department of NGO International Affairs
  • Date:2022-06-23

 Tien, Chung-kwang
 Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs
 Republic of China (Taiwan)
 June 23, 2022
(As Delivered)

Good evening!

On behalf of Foreign Minister Jaushieh Joseph Wu, I would like to extend a very warm welcome to all of you, especially our guests from across the globe. 

It is a great pleasure to cohost this reception with the Taiwan Medical Women's Association (TMWA) for the 32nd International Congress of the Medical Women's International Association (MWIA). Today, we are at the historic Taipei Guest House, which was built in 1901 and now serves as a venue for hosting important receptions.

The MWIA and TMWA, which promote the contributions of women doctors to global health, have done a great job in organizing the meeting this year. I applaud the tireless efforts that you all have made, especially in light of the daunting challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Now is the perfect time to host this International Congress. I would like to highlight three key aspects of this year's theme—“Young Women Young Doctors: Our Inspiration Our Future.”

First, I would like to talk about women's empowerment. Taiwan has made great strides in fostering gender equality through education, legislation, social movements, and NGO advocacy efforts. According to the standards regarding gender equality used by the United Nations Gender Inequality Index, Taiwan would rank sixth among the 163 countries surveyed and first in Asia. In politics, women account for more than 42 percent of our nation's legislators, well above the world average.

Three months ago, in this very building, President Tsai Ing-wen announced the start of this year's Taiwan Gender Equality Week. That was a joint initiative between the government and NGOs to promote public awareness at home and abroad. In her remarks, President Tsai expressed that the achievements and growing voices of women will continue to inspire other women and girls to participate in public affairs and work toward a more sustainable and equitable society.

Taiwan always stands at the forefront, spearheading efforts to promote gender equality and women's empowerment. Our government will certainly continue to work with NGOs to encourage more women and girls to pursue careers that promote the health and well-being of individuals and society as a whole.

This brings me to the second topic—strengthening global mechanisms to fight public health threats.

Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus of the World Health Organization (WHO) once said, “The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated that trust, partnership, and solidarity are essential for confronting shared public health threats.”

Taiwan, leveraging its experience in containing the 2003 SARS outbreak, responded to the COVID-19 crisis with rapid measures, early deployment, prudent actions, and transparency. As we are all aware, this pandemic cannot end here until it ends worldwide. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, Taiwan has been proactive in pursuing international cooperation and extending humanitarian assistance. We have donated critical supplies to countries in need. For example, Taiwan has supported frontline medical personnel by donating medical masks to more than 80 countries around the world.

Taiwan has proven to be an indispensable stakeholder in global public health mechanisms. Just last month, Taiwan's diplomatic allies, like-minded partners, and friendly nations showed staunch support for Taiwan's bid to participate in WHO and the World Health Assembly (WHA). In addition, the World Medical Association (WMA) once again called on the WHO to open its doors by granting Taiwan observer status to the WHA. I want to take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude for the support and friendship shown by the international community.

Third, I must spotlight the importance of public-private partnerships. The pressing issues we face today are experienced across borders, regions, and domains of expertise. The government and civil society must work together to resolve such issues as the global vaccine supply chain, public health disinformation, and climate change-related infectious disease. Civil society can play a powerful role in resolving such issues. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs remains committed to investing more to bolster public-private partnerships and join forces with NGOs to achieve a more sustainable future.

In closing, I wish the MWIA and TMWA a very successful International Congress.  We hope you all will enjoy tonight's reception. Thank you.