Leaders from diplomatic allies Paraguay and the Marshall Islands on Tuesday spoke in support of Taiwan’s inclusion in the UN at the General Debate of the world body’s General Assembly in New York City, arguing that Taiwanese deserve equal treatment.
The presidents of the two nation delivered speeches on the first day of the assembly, which opened on Tuesday and continues through Monday next week.
Paraguayan President Mario Abdo Benitez and Marshallese President Hilda Heine spoke up for Taiwan’s bid to be included in the UN.
“My country supports Taiwan’s legitimate request to be included in the UN system and believes that this country can contribute a great deal to its work,” Abdo Benitez said in his remarks.
Abdo Benitez, who was inaugurated last month, said that Taiwan’s inclusion in the UN should be granted based on the UN’s principle of universality.
Heine made a similar appeal in her address, saying that her nation supports recognition of Taiwan’s meaningful participation within the UN system, including programs and agencies such as the WHO, the International Civil Aviation Organization and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
“The people of Taiwan deserve equal treatment and the UN should resolve the serious issue of Taiwan’s 23 million people being excluded from the UN system — an issue we believe is not addressed in UN General Assembly Resolution 2758,” Heine said.
Adopted in 1971, UN Resolution 2758 recognized the People’s Republic of China as the only lawful representative of China to the UN and expelled “the representatives of Chiang Kai-shek [蔣介石] from the place which they unlawfully occupied at the United Nations and in all the organizations related to it.”
Advocates for Taiwan’s UN membership bid say that the resolution only addresses the representation of “China” at the UN, not Taiwan.
Heine said Taiwan has been implementing the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, and has released a national review of its own initiative.
“[Taiwan] has the capacity to contribute to a wide range of UN programs relevant to global progress. Diseases like tuberculosis know no boundaries and Taiwan has brought its policy framework in line with global efforts,” she said.
Taiwan has served as a partner to the Marshall Islands in addressing non-communicable diseases, Heine said, adding that blocking Taiwan’s participation “does not benefit global human welfare.”
Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Andrew Lee (李憲章) thanked the two allies for speaking up for Taiwan’s 23 million people at the assembly.
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