Mon, Aug 12, 2019 - Page 1 News List

MOFA protests UN tweet with same graphic

By Lu Yi-hsuan and William Hetherington  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

A post on the UN’s official Twitter account on Saturday uses the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women’s (UN Women) graphic illustrating nations that have recognized same-sex marriage, labeling Taiwan “a province of China.”

Photo: Screen grab from UN’s Twitter account

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) yesterday condemned the UN for referring to Taiwan as a “province of China” in a Tweet that used the same graphic the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) had used to list on countries and regions, which have recognized same-sex marriage that prompted a protest last week.

The UN’s siding with China on its position regarding Taiwan had caused human rights to be politicized, the ministry’s statement said.

The UN was seriously misleading the international community, and had deviated from the principle of neutrality and from the spirit of its charter, the ministry said.

UN Women posted the graphic on its Facebook page on Sunday last week, prompting protests from Taiwanese and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in New York, and on Saturday the ministry announced that UN Women had removed the graphic from its Facebook page.

The ministry questioned the re-emergence of the graphic on Saturday in a tweet that said: “More than 1/3 of the world’s countries criminalize same-sex relationships. All people should be able to choose their partners freely in #FamiliesOfToday. progress.unwomen.org #WomensProgress2019 via @UN_Women.”

The ministry has instructed TECO New York to lodge a protest with the UN and seek to have the error corrected.

“It is owing to the fact that Taiwan is a nation where democracy and human rights are valued that same-sex marriage can be openly and rationally discussed there, and that it can become the first country in Asia to achieve marriage equality,” it said.

“This has nothing to do with China, an authoritarian country that regularly violates human rights,” it said, and it called on the UN to “recognize the fact that China and Taiwan do not belong to each other.”

Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) yesterday responded directly to the UN on Twitter, writing: “@UN screws up again! #Taiwan isn’t a province of #China. Taiwan legalized same-sex marriage, not China. Same-sex marriage is criminalized & #HumanRights & #ReligiousFreedom are suppressed in China. Taiwan is a proud democracy with a popularly elected president & parliament.”

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