Ambassador Kelly Craft
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York, New York
January 14, 2021
I cannot begin without acknowledging the faculty, mentors, and administration of National Taiwan University, National Chang-chi University.
During my time as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, I have been in countless meetings, conferences, and consultations – many in this very chamber. My interactions with diplomats and other officials from nearly every nation of the world, take place on these grounds
However, I have found my inspiration not only in the daily routine, but in my most trying moments in the voices of young people just like you. Students who exemplify your respective university’s mottos: integrity, independence, balance, harmony, diligence, fidelity, compassion, and preeminence.
That’s why I’m speaking to you today from the General Assembly Hall of the United Nations. Here, all UN Member States have an equal footing, and can make their views and perspectives heard. It is here, and in other UN venues, where the United States makes clear its support for a role for Taiwan on the global stage.
The United States believes that Taiwan is a force for good in the world, and that is very true. It is also true that young women and men, like you, deserve to pursue careers and opportunities, and on the international stage, including in organizations such as the World Health Organization, where your expertise has been proven undeniable.
I have engaged with Model UN groups throughout the United States, and youth representatives at the United Nations. We need organizations like the Model UN to help illuminate the path forward for the actual UN. And so, your efforts here are perhaps more significant than you may realize.
My preference was to be with you in person, but please know that I do see you. I know that you are not daunted by the challenges of this world, or discouraged by the pace of change. You are in the final days of one great change – it is not finished. But for now, school yourselves in reserve, say only what you mean, and avoid any signs of temper, but hold strong with your own spirit of what truly counts. Do not mistake the present moment for a determination for your future. The best provision now is both courage and thought.
Never mistake the instant for the hour, the day for the year. And most of all do not let the tribulations steer your mind away from what you know and what you believe. Stay firm, say the words of democracy even in the wake of this moment. Because one day, you, too, will be standing here.