Thu, Aug 07, 2003 - Page 1 News List

Taiwan to try and try again at UN

YEARNINGS The nation is trying for an 11th time to join the world body, hoping states that lack diplomatic relations with Taiwan will support the country's bid

By Monique Chu  /  STAFF REPORTER

PHOTO: GEORGE TSORNG, TAIPEI TIMESN

Taiwan began its 11th bid to join the UN as 15 of its diplomatic allies submitted a joint proposal to the body in support of the nation's entry, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday.

"It's our hope that countries lacking diplomatic ties with Taiwan will speak for us on the floor of the UN General Assembly," Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Michael Kau (高英茂) said in a press conference yesterday.

The proposal said Taiwan's exclusion from the UN is a moral and legal challenge for the international community.

The proposal also asked the UN General Assembly to include a supplementary item entitled "Question of the Representation of the Republic of China (Taiwan) in the United Nations" on the agenda of its 58th session, slated to begin on Sept. 16.

The 15 countries are Belize, Burkina Faso, Chad, the Commonwealth of Dominica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Gambia, Grenada, Malawi, Nicaragua, Palau, Sao Tome and Principe, Solomon Islands, Swaziland and Tuvalu.

"The Taiwan Presbyterian Church and local Aboriginal groups are slated to dispatch a large mission to New York City to get our views across," Kau said.

Although Taiwan has been frustrated by its inability to return to the UN fold since it was expelled in 1971, continuing to bid for access to the UN is essential since it can highlight the country's yearnings for a return to the body, he said.

"It is unjust that the 23 million people of Taiwan are not represented at the UN. We have to make this known to the international community," Kau said.

When asked why the country didn't use "Taiwan" in its UN bid instead of "Republic of China (Taiwan)," Kau said the ROC remains the nation's formal designation according to the Constitution, adding that the word Taiwan in parentheses could help clarify the difference between the ROC and the People's Republic of China (PRC).

A memorandum attached to the proposal said Taiwan is a free and peace-loving state, and that its democratically elected government is the only legitimate body able to represent the interests and wishes of the people of Taiwan at the UN.

It also argued that UN General Assembly Resolution 2758, adopted on Oct. 25, 1971, which seated Beijing at the UN, did not resolve the issue of Taiwan's representation.

Kau said the resolution has been misinterpreted to justify Taiwan's exclusion.

The resolution recognized the PRC government as the only legitimate representative of China to the UN and "to expel forthwith the representatives of Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) from the place which they unlawfully occupy at the UN."

"The resolution expelled the representatives of Chiang Kai-shek, but the [current] government in Taiwan is not equal to the Chiang Kai-shek regime. This resolution is not applicable to contemporary Taiwan," said Kau, a former political scientist at Brown University in the US.

Kau also said the government has no plan to hold a referendum on the nation's UN bid.

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