Remarks by MOFA Minister Jaushieh Joseph Wu for GCTF Seminar on COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout: Experiences and Challenges
May 18, 2021
Chief Representative Izumi;
Deputy Minister Jui-Yuan Hsueh (薛瑞元), Ministry of Health and Welfare;
Dear participants joining us online from around the world; Ladies and gentlemen:
Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening!
Today’s seminar on COVID-19 vaccine rollout cannot be more timely. Last Saturday, amid a spike in domestic infections, Taiwan’s Central Epidemic Command Center raised the COVID alert level for Taipei and New Taipei City to Level 3. As the government grapples with this new wave of virus surge, today’s event provides an excellent and critical platform for us to learn from other countries’ vaccine rollout experience, and also to share what we have observed and learned in Taiwan. I hope that through today’s discussion, we will jointly identify some valuable rollout solutions conducive to our respective inoculation efforts.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in late 2019, we have held five GCTF workshops in response to the pandemic. These have covered a wide range of related and adjacent issues, including disinformation, preparations for a second wave, the development of the digital economy, and global supply chain restructuring.
I am glad to see our friends from the UK and Australia once again joining us in cohosting this event. This shows that the GCTF’s efforts and capabilities in addressing emerging global challenges are being recognized. I would also like to take this opportunity to welcome health officials from Israel, EU and Canada to make their presentations.
Just a couple weeks ago, medical relief from Taiwan including oxygen concentrators and oxygen cylinders arrived in India to help in fighting the second wave of the pandemic. More relief will be on its way shortly. As a responsible member of the international community, Taiwan will continue to contribute to global health security despite the political challenges it faces.
Ladies and gentlemen, disease knows no borders. Having been let down by the World Health Organization during the SARS epidemic and other outbreaks of infectious diseases, Taiwan is fortunate to have the staunch support of the United States and other like-minded countries. We understand the importance of working with the international community to address transnational challenges such as COVID-19.
We are grateful that on May 5, G7 Foreign Ministers issued a joint communiqué voicing support for Taiwan’s meaningful participation in WHO forums and the World Health Assembly. And two days later, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken issued a statement urging the WHO Director-General to invite Taiwan to participate as an Observer at the WHA. This proves, once again, that those who pursue a virtuous path will never be left to stand alone.
Taiwan now confronts a critical battle against covid, and today’s seminar is a reminder to us just how important international support is in navigating a global challenge. With that, let me once again welcome you all. I wish you a productive and fruitful discussion. Thank you!