Oct 9th, 2018

Text of Remarks delivered by the Hon. Prime Minister of Saint Lucia, Allen Chastanet, at the Military Salute this morning.

Your Excellency President Tsai Ing-wen, Honourable Joseph Wu Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ministers of Government, Ambassadors and members of the Diplomatic Corps, Members of the Legislative Yuan, distinguished ladies and gentlemen.

On behalf of my Government and of the people of Saint Lucia, I extend best wishes and warmest congratulations to you, your Government and the people of Taiwan on this the eve of your National Day tomorrow. I also wish to thank you for your kind invitation to be here and the warmth and generosity of your hospitality.

Madame President Taiwan’s tremendous economic and other accomplishments are remarkable and commendable. Your relatively small country which not so long ago was poor and undeveloped, is now a global success story, coming in at 23 in the global economic rankings.  You have though used your success and ability, not only to secure considerable benefits for your own people, but have also worked beyond your country’s shores to promote sustainable development, particularly of developing countries including my own.

Double-ten will be a day for celebrating your accomplishments and showing gratitude for your international contribution.

What a privilege therefore Madame President to be there tomorrow, alongside you and other allies, to proudly share in the day and make a public affirmation to the world of the friendship between the people of Saint Lucia and of Taiwan.

We do not hide our relationship or are secretive about our support, but we boldly reaffirm it here as we do in the WHO, the UN and elsewhere on the world stage.

The values which you uphold and have so valiantly been fighting for; democracy, justice, human rights and freedom; these too are our guiding principles. They define us as a people; they are in our DNA.

This is why Madame President, we Saint Lucians, even if we are in the minority, we stand shoulder to shoulder with the Taiwanese people.

Taiwan has also been a partner with a sympathetic understanding of our situation and we greatly appreciate the vital assistance that you are providing to help us tackle our development challenges.

You have been for us a valued development partner and it is within the framework of this trusted partnership that our countries have been working to advance our respective national economic, political and security interests.

Our shared goals and mutually beneficial relations complement those common values that I referred to earlier and are the foundation for our solidarity.

And it is the strength of that solidarity, that assures the vitality and the future of our enduring relationship.

Madame President, Taiwan is advanced technologically and economically, and has so much to give. You have made a tremendous practical and intellectual contribution to international governance and joint action in several fields including, among others:

  • Protection of the environment and helping combat Climate change and building resilience to its adverse effects
  • Promoting gender equality and ensuring that women and girls can realise their true value and their ambitions to fully contribute to society.
  • Health
  • Air and sea transportation.

During this visit I plan to explore, with your government, new and creative approaches to achieve even greater success so that we can mutually benefit.

We believe that with all that you have to contribute, you have earned the right to speak and engage in inter-Governmental gatherings and institutions.

When you are denied that opportunity, the main loser is the rest of the world, in particular the more vulnerable countries.

I thank you Madame President.