Japan won a two-year term on the UN Security Council, and hopes to prove that it deserves a permanent seat on the powerful body as the issue of UN reform takes center stage next year. \nArgentina, Denmark, Greece and Tanzania were also elected on Friday as nonpermanent members -- all committed to enlarging the 15-member coun-cil, but without the same open ambition as Japan to make their two-year stints permanent. \n"It is unprecedented that the sort of momentum for seeking the reform of the Security Council is very, very great at this moment, and the fact that Japan comes into the Security Council as a non-permanent member has a special meaning," said Japan's UN Ambassador Koichi Haraguchi. \n"The people will look at the behavior of Japan, even if it's this time not a permanent member," he said. "They regard Japan as a country who has a very strong hope to serve in the Security Council as a new permanent member ... So we will continue to keep that in mind and do as much as possible to live up to the ... expectation." \nCalling it "a big day for us," Haraguchi said Japan is already "very heavily involved" in key issues before the council including Iraq, Afghanistan and African conflicts, and will remain involved. Japan will also focus on "the so-called new threats and and new challenges ... which require a lot of creative thinking" including the prevention of terrorism and weapons proliferation, he said. \nWhile some elections for Security Council seats are hotly contested battles, Friday's election by the 191 members of the UN General Assembly rubber-stamped the candidates selected months ago by regional groups. \nIn the secret ballot, Argentina received 188 votes, Greece 187, Tanzania 186, Japan 184 and Denmark 181. \nWhen the five countries take their seats on Jan. 1, the complexion of the council will change. The departure of Pakistan -- along with Angola, Chile, Germany and Spain -- means the council will lose one of its two Muslim nations, leaving just Algeria to represent Islamic nations. \n"That's why we are asking that Islamic countries should be more equitably represented in an enlarged council," said Pakistan's UN Ambassador Munir Akram. \nThe five permanent members -- the US, Britain, France, Russia and China -- are the only ones with veto power. \nWhile reform of the Security Council is the subject of intense discussion, the decision will be made by the General Assembly, though it must be ratified by the permanent Council members. \nWhile there is widespread support among all UN member states to expand the Security Council to reflect the geopolitical realities of the 21st century, there is no agreement on how large it should be, which countries should get seats, whether the new seats should be permanent or temporary, and which members should have veto power. \n"Everybody said there is a necessity to reform," General Assembly President Jean Ping told a news conference Friday. "The problem is how and which type of reforms." \n"But it's moving fast, moving," he said, when asked about prospects for agreement. \nAt last month's General Assembly ministerial meeting, the leaders of Japan, Germany, Brazil and India agreed to support each other's candidacies for permanent seats.
‘FREEDOM WINE’: Taiwanese are empathetic of Australians, the president said, while lawmakers called on their constituents to drink Australian wine to show their support Taiwan would take action to back Australians at a time when they are “under tremendous pressure,” President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said yesterday, as tensions between Australia and China heated up. Taipei and Canberra have been mutually supportive in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in exchanging critical medical materials in the early stages, Tsai said, before chairing the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Central Standing Committee meeting in Taipei. Taiwan and Australia are like-minded nations, sharing the common values of democracy, freedom and human rights, while their economic and trade relations have also become close, she said. Canberra has been voicing support for Taiwan’s international
VIGILANCE: From tomorrow all arrivals must provide the result of a PCR test issued within three days of boarding, and the CECC asked people to report anyone who has faked their result The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) expects an increase in the number of returning travelers in the coming days, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said yesterday, adding that the varying qualities of COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test reports from other countries is a big concern. Chen, who heads the center, was speaking to the media on the sidelines of a Taiwan Foundation for Rare Disorders scholarship award ceremony in Taipei. “As the global COVID-19 situation is worsening, and with some holidays coming up, there might be an increase in the number of overseas Taiwanese returning to Taiwan,” he
CECC RULES: The autumn-winter COVID-19 prevention program, including mandatory mask wearing in eight types of public venues and indoor facilities, begins today A temporary, two-week ban on Indonesian migrant workers entering the nation is to begin on Friday, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced yesterday as it reported 24 new imported cases of COVID-19. Twenty of the new cases are Indonesian migrant workers who arrived between Nov. 11 and Friday last week, said Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center. The cases were discovered during a special project on Friday to conduct polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests on all 939 recently arrived Indonesian migrant workers in centralized quarantine facilities, as the majority of imported cases in the past
Passports with a redesigned cover highlighting Taiwan would be issued starting on Jan. 11, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday. The new cover design, which was announced on Sept. 2, highlights Taiwan by printing the word in a larger font. While the new passport cover retains “the Republic of China” in Chinese, the English name is printed along the outer circle of the national emblem, which would enable other nations to clearly identify that it is a Taiwanese passport, not a Chinese passport, the ministry said. The costs and application procedures for the new version are the same as