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President Tsai addresses Parliament of Nauru
President Tsai addresses Parliament of Nauru

On the morning of March 25, President Tsai Ing-wen addressed the Parliament of Nauru, where she briefed her audience on Taiwan and Nauru's cooperative accomplishments in the fields of education, agriculture, and medicine. She also thanked Nauru for its support for Taiwan's international participation, and expressed hope for further development of bilateral trade ties, and closer people-to-people exchanges.

President Tsai was greeted upon arrival by Nauru's Speaker of Parliament Cyril Buraman, after which Nauru's Clerk of Parliament Ann-Marie Cain escorted her into the Parliament House. In welcoming remarks, Speaker Buraman said it was an honor to host a visit from President Tsai. Taiwan and Nauru both respect the international values of freedom, democracy, and human rights, and work hard to further our bilateral relations. The Parliament of Nauru, he said, hopes to see continued development in the Taiwan-Nauru relationship, and that the two countries can share their experiences in democratic development.

Nauru's President Baron Waqa stated in remarks that President Tsai's visit demonstrates the special friendship that links Taiwan and Nauru, and that it is worth commemorating. He also said that during his several visits to Taiwan over the past few years, he has seen happy and contented people, and witnessed Taiwan's continued economic and environmental development. President Waqa reiterated that Nauru will not waver in its support for Taiwan, and that the people of Nauru support the freedom-loving people of Taiwan.

President Tsai's English remarks are as follows:

To begin, I would like to thank the Honorable Speaker Buraman for inviting me. It is an honor to address the Parliament of Nauru on behalf of Taiwan's 23 million people.

I come here today to reaffirm the partnership we have developed over the past several years, and honor the heritage of Austronesian cultures that Taiwan and Nauru share.

For thousands of years, our ancestors in Austronesian countries sailed the seas, and settled down on islands throughout the Pacific Ocean. Over time, our ancestors embraced and worked with immigrants coming from different eras to develop their islands.

Among those islands, some had experienced colonization and then became democracies, including Taiwan and Nauru.

As our shared democratic values and maritime orientation are driving us to embrace the world, I chose "Oceans of Democracy" as the theme for this trip.

This special bond between Taiwan and Nauru is also reflected in our bilateral cooperation.

Our cooperative efforts, past and present, have produced many memorable achievements in the educational, agricultural, and medical fields.

In education, we were honored to set up a Taiwan Scholarship program, and have helped over 50 students from Nauru study in Taiwan.

I would be remiss if I did not mention one of the scholarship's outstanding recipients, Deputy Speaker Mr. Asterio Appi, who is here with us today. He is also the winner of our Ministry of Education's Distinguished Taiwan Alumni Award.

And his alma mater, National Pingtung University of Science and Technology, is an important center for training agricultural talent from home and abroad.

Over the past few years, Taiwan has also continued to share agricultural technology with Nauru, turning barren sand into fertile farmland, and sending produce to the hospital and schools to give patients and students better nutrition.

Together, Taiwan and Nauru have developed a special "Taiwan-Nauru" breed of chicken. These chickens produce high-quality eggs, providing better nutrition to the children here, and making the future generation healthier and stronger.

In Nauru, we're also promoting the only mushroom cultivation trial program amongst our Pacific allies. Next, we plan to create a more sustainable food culture here by developing processing capabilities.

When families get the nourishment they need, and better healthcare, we see better education outcomes, and more vibrant economic activity.

So that's why in addition to agricultural cooperation, we are also sending medical professionals to Nauru.

For instance, as we gather here, an orthopedic medical mission from Taiwan's Veterans General Hospital-Taichung is operating a volunteer clinic in Nauru. That clinic is a response to a new proposal by President Waqa at last year's annual Pacific Islands Forum.

And it is lovely to know that some parents named their children "Taiwan" after their children received treatment from our medical mission.

As island nations, I think we can all agree that no nation is immune from climate change. And the only way we can jointly respond to that challenge is by strengthening our regional partnerships.

So I am pleased to announce that later, Taiwan and Nauru will sign a Coast Guard Cooperation Agreement, and the solar power electrical system we are building at the Nauru Hospital is almost completed.

These initiatives reflect our commitment to protecting the oceans, and sustainable development.

As Taiwan is always striving to contribute more to the region and the world, I want to take this opportunity to thank the Nauru Parliament and government for their efforts to support Taiwan's international participation. That includes President Waqa's resolution supporting Taiwan's meaningful participation in UN bodies, and the Taiwan-friendly resolution that was passed by the parliament this month.

Also not long ago, the Minister Assisting the President, Mr. David Adeang, attended the Micronesia Presidents' Summit, where the representatives unanimously passed a resolution supporting Taiwan's equal participation in the annual Pacific Islands Forum.

These achievements and unwavering support give us great confidence. As an important member of the Pacific region, Taiwan is willing and able to work with Nauru to contribute to regional prosperity and development.

Looking ahead, I hope our two countries can do more trade together, and our two peoples will visit each other more often. Following the reciprocal visa-free entry program we launched last year, next, I hope we can see Nauru Airlines fly between Taiwan and Nauru.

I am very proud of our shared commitment to building a sustainable region, but we should always remind ourselves that no nation can achieve this alone.

And we should also remind ourselves that history belongs to those who stand firm, and honor their commitments.

In closing, I would like to thank President Waqa, and Speaker Buraman. I thank you for the honor of standing in this great chamber to reaffirm the cultural ties, democratic values, and warm friendship that we share.

After the conclusion of President Tsai's address, the Parliament of Nauru passed a resolution in which, on behalf of the Parliament and the people of Nauru, they warmly welcomed President Tsai to the Republic of Nauru, and expressed their most heartfelt gratitude to her. President Tsai's visit has further solidified the friendship between Taiwan and Nauru.

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