Mon, Sep 26, 2016 - Page 1 News List

Government preparing to take part in Interpol meet

By Chung Li-hua and William Hetherington  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Following China’s obstruction of Taiwan’s participation in this year’s International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) assembly in Canada, government officials said they are preparing to take part in an Interpol summit in November.

Interpol is to hold its annual summit in Bali, Indonesia, from Nov. 7 to 10 and Taiwan has applied to join the summit as an observer, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs official said, adding that the ministry and national security agencies are seeking international support for the nation’s bid to observe the Interpol meeting.

The official, who declined to be named, said agencies are monitoring the situation, as the summit would be the first one since US President Barack Obama signed a bill on March 18 ensuring US support for Taiwan’s attendance as an Interpol observer, which was ratified by the US Senate.

The bill requires Interpol Washington, which falls under the authority of the US Department of Justice, to grant observer status to Taiwan and requires the organization to petition other members to support the nation’s attendance.

Interpol regulations describe two methods of application for observer status — joint application by an inviting nation with the organization’s secretary-general, or application by the secretary-general after approval by the executive committee.

Ministry sources said the first method would most likely be used for the nation’s observer application, as the process would be handled with US support.

Sources said that since Interpol is not associated with the UN, there is no prerequisite for an applicant to be recognized as a sovereign nation, adding that Interpol’s secretary-general is Germany’s Jurgen Stock.

Some people said that Taiwan’s loss of the ICAO bid was caused by the organization’s secretary-general, Liu Fang (柳方), being Chinese.

The sources said that the government has a contingency plan regardless of the outcome of the bid, which, in the event of failure, might call on the nation’s allies to voice their support.

When asked if the government has changed its strategy after the failed ICAO bid, the official said: “In the interest of continued participation in international organizations, we have always had plans in place to adapt to changes. This should not be seen as a newly adjusted strategy.”

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