New Southbound Policy Portal

Tsai echoes pope’s call for compassion, cooperation on World Day of Peace

President Tsai Ing-wen sent a letter to Pope Francis in response to the papal message for the 54th World Day of Peace Jan. 1, supporting his call for overcoming differences, showing compassion and working together to prevail against formidable challenges.
In the message titled “A Culture of Care as a Path to Peace,” Pope Francis said COVID-19 has aggravated deeply interrelated crises and caused great suffering and hardship. He hoped this year would enable humanity to advance on the path of fraternity, justice and peace.
Tsai said she agrees wholeheartedly with the pope’s words at a time when coronavirus is breaking up families and leaving countless people struggling.
According to Tsai, Taiwan has actively embraced a spirit of compassion and empathy ever since the onset of the pandemic, including by sharing its successful disease-management expertise with other countries.
At the same time, it continues to offer humanitarian assistance to support those in need, she said, citing donations of cash, food and personal protective equipment given to countries around the world.
Tsai agreed with Pope Francis that all of humanity shares the same planet and therefore no one should be marginalized by the global public health network. Taiwan’s exclusion from the World Health Organization and absence from the World Health Assembly since 2017 are clear obstacles to the pursuit of peace, she added.
Taiwan is continuing on its journey as a country guided by human rights, Tsai said, adding judicial reforms and the pursuit of social justice demonstrate the commitment of the government and people to these ideals. (SFC-E)
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