First, let me offer a warm welcome to Saint Christopher and Nevis Foreign Minister Mark Brantley, and all the delegation members.
I want to take this opportunity to thank Minister Brantley and Team Unity for supporting Taiwan's bid for participation in the United Nations, the World Health Assembly, and other international organizations. And at the 72nd UN General Assembly next month, we look forward to your continuing support.
This is important to us, and we sincerely appreciate your efforts.
As island nations, our countries have long shared many concerns:
The Taiwan government and Team Unity are both dedicated to healing old wounds, bringing people together, and building a better country for the next generation. Both are committed to putting our people and our country first, and reviving our respective economies. But to do that, we must pursue reconciliation, the foundation of greater cooperation.
We are both trying to create a more equitable and inclusive society, which means empowering all of our people. And we have seen signs of progress:
In your country, Senator Akila Byron-Nisbett was the first woman elected Deputy Leader of a major political party. And of course, President Tsai Ing-wen is Taiwan's first woman president.
We've also seen progress in our on-going bilateral projects to enhance the wellbeing of your citizens.
Those projects include an agriculture project that Minister Brantley proposed, helping Nevis Island manage its monkey population to reduce agricultural damage.
We also launched a bilateral program to prevent and control chronic kidney disease this past April, one element of a more comprehensive healthcare system. As Agriculture and Health Minister Eugene Hamilton has said, our health is our wealth, and improving the healthcare system has benefits that can impact every household.
In addition to our shared concerns as island nations, we also face similar challenges:
We both want to be recognized as respected members of the international community, and play our rightful role in regional and global affairs.
That recognition has repercussions for our diplomatic efforts, external trade, and tourism potential. It also impacts our domestic economies, and our ability to fund infrastructure improvements while promoting alternative energy and green growth.
So I want to reaffirm Taiwan's support for Team Unity's policies, and hope that our friendship and cooperation will continue to expand as we address our common concerns, and uphold the shared values of freedom, democracy, and human rights.
Most important, we must stand together, confident that our future will not be determined by the size of our country, but by the strength of our convictions, and the scope of our ambitions.