Mon, Oct 24, 2005 - Page 8 News List

New plan needed for Taiwan's UN bid

By Chen Lung-Chu (陳隆志)

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the UN. The anniversary comes at a time when the world body is looking closely at its role and working to implement reforms and renew the organization.

The role of each of the UN's divisions is to maintain peace and resolve regional conflicts. They are also responsible for carrying out a wide range of tasks and missions, involving different aspects of human life.

All Taiwanese have longed to gain entry into the UN and enhance the nation's international status. To achieve this, Taiwan should do more than rely on the efforts of civilian and non-governmental organizations to gain admission to the body, as this will only prove to be limited, unproductive and discouraging. The government and the civil groups should work together to conduct an in-depth study and map out a concrete set of strategies to address the issue.

The nation's drive to gain entry into the UN is like a marathon for all Taiwanese. If the eventual outcome is to be positive, we have to figure out a consistent and feasible approach to taking part in this time-consuming and energy-draining race.

Over the past 13 years we have failed to make a breakthrough against China's oppression on the diplomatic front, even though we have continued to ask our diplomatic allies to assist us with our UN bid, and to underline the importance of cross-strait peace.

As such, we need to rethink our diplomatic strategy and should take the initiative and apply for UN membership in the name of a peace-loving nation. Although the application will probably be rejected or vetoed by China at the UN Security Council, it would have significance in the international community. I believe that only by doing this can we highlight that Taiwan and China are two totally different countries.

The nation's drive to participate in the UN should not become an annual routine. Instead, there should be a concerted effort to push the endeavor forward.

For example, when the world celebrates United Nations Day on Oct. 24 every year, the nation could choose to hold an international symposium to discuss UN-related issues and invite international experts and academics. By doing this we could promote and encourage domestic UN-related research through international academic exchanges while at the same time establishing an interactive platform for Taiwan to provide advice on the UN's reform and development, and help the nation communicate with the rest of the world. After the symposium, we could then organize the content of all the discussions, and transform them into useful materials to educate people from all walks of life about the importance of the issue, and eventually help Taiwan become a normal country.

I believe that as long as the people, the government and non-governmental organizations can work together to pursue this issue of national importance, the dream of all Taiwanese will one day come true.

Chen Lung-chu is chairman of the New Century Foundation and the director of the Taiwan United Nations Alliance.

Translated by Lin Ya-ti

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