Sat, Aug 12, 2006 - Page 1 News List

UN bid launched using name `Taiwan'

WHAT'S IN A NAME The nation's 14th attempt to join the UN was launched yesterday with a new twist

By Chang Yun-ping  /  STAFF REPORTER , WITH CNA, NEW YORK

Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesman Michel Lu, right, and Department of International Organizations Director John Chen smile during a press conference yesterday where they unveiled Taiwan's UN bid for this year.

PHOTO: LO PEI-DER, TAIPEI TIMES

Taiwan and its diplomatic allies launched the nation's latest bid for UN entry on Thursday as the 61st UN General Assembly prepares to convene on Sept. 12, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) confirmed yesterday.

This marks the country's 14th consecutive bid for participation in the international body. All of its previous attempts have failed because of China's obstruction.

The proposal this year addresses "the question of the representation and participation of the 23 million people of Taiwan in the United Nations" and requests the inclusion of Taiwan's bid as a supplementary item to the agenda of the upcoming session of the General Assembly.

In addition, a second proposal termed the "peace proposal" was also launched, asking the UN to take a more proactive role in maintaining peace and security in East Asia.

Director of MOFA's Department of International Organizations John Chen (陳忠) said the UN paid little attention to East Asian security compared to its role in managing security and humanitarian issues elsewhere in the world.

The second proposal "urges East Asian countries to settle disputes through peaceful means and encourages concerned countries in the region to take further steps toward military transparency and confidence-building."

To highlight the status of Taiwan, the wording in this year's proposal refers to the country's name as "Republic of China [Taiwan]" in the first instance only and thereafter refers to the nation as Taiwan.

This is in contrast to proposals in previous years where the "Republic of China" was used throughout the document to represent Taiwan, Chen said.

This year's proposal also directly asks the UN to "recognize" the right to representation of the 23 million people of Taiwan as opposed to requesting the UN to "study" the possibilities of Taiwanese being represented in the world body, reflecting a more proactive stance from the government in its pursuance of UN participation, Chen noted.

As part of the publicity campaign for this year's UN bid, the official said that the foreign ministry has been planning a video conference between President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), the media and opinion leaders in the US before the convening of the General Assembly.

Previously, local media had reported that the president had voiced the idea that Taiwan should use the name of "Taiwan" in this year's UN bid.

Meanwhile, Andrew Hsia (夏立言), director of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in New York, yesterday said that the severance of official ties with Chad would not affect Taiwan's campaign to join the UN.

Taiwan will keep telling the UN that it is determined to be part of the UN family in spite of its recent loss of ties with Chad, he said.

This year, Taiwan's UN campaign will use the theme of "UN-HUMAN" to underscore the world body's "unhuman" treatment of Taiwan's people, said Hsia.

Last year, Taiwan campaigned on the theme of "UN-FAIR" and the UN turned out to be "unfair" by refusing to discuss Taiwan's representation in the organization and cutting short the time its allies had to speak for it.

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