Thu, Sep 05, 2019 - Page 1 News List

Foreign ministry pushing for ICAO support

INVITE ‘UNLIKELY’:The CAA still plans to send a delegation to attend the ICAO assembly later this month, at which it hopes to meet with allies and G7 members

By Lu Yi-hsuan and Sherry Hsiao  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

The International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) logo on the wall of its headquarters in Montreal is pictured in an undated photograph.

Photo from the ICAO Web site

With an official invitation to the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) 40th Triennial Assembly unlikely, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is trying to arrange bilateral talks with the nation’s diplomatic allies and G7 member states to lobby for support for the nation’s participation, a foreign affairs source said yesterday.

Although Taiwan has not received a clear answer as to whether it would be invited to the meeting, which is to be held at the UN agency’s headquarters in Montreal from Sept. 24 to Oct. 4, “under Chinese leadership, frankly, [the situation is] not very ideal,” said the source, who declined to be named.

Chinese leadership at the organization include ICAO Secretary-General Liu Fang (柳芳) and Legal Affairs and External Relations Bureau Director Huang Jiefang (黃解放), the source said, adding that the organization’s restrictions on Taiwan are “even worse” than those imposed by the WHO.

The ICAO has set many “unreasonable limits,” such as blocking Taiwanese from registering for any events hosted at the ICAO headquarters, they said.

Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) Director-General Lin Kuo-shian (林國顯) last month sent a letter to ICAO Council President Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu saying that Taiwan could help the organization realize its vision of a “seamless sky,” the source said.

The letter was received, but no response has been given, they said, adding that senior foreign affairs and transportation officials from the nation’s allies have also sent letters voicing their support.

The G7 foreign ministers in a communique in April said that they “support the substantive participation of all active members of the international aviation community in ICAO forums,” and that “excluding some of its members for political purposes compromises aviation safety and security,” the source said, calling the statements a “very clear message” of their support.

Whether or not it is invited, the CAA plans to send a delegation to Canada this month, sources said, adding that the ministry is working to organize meetings with representatives from Taiwan’s diplomatic allies, G7 members and other nations.

The ministry is also to host an international news conference to highlight the “legitimacy and validity” of Taiwan’s participation, they added.

Taiwan was invited to participate in the assembly as a special guest in 2013, but not in 2016, a year after Liu was appointed.

Taiwanese journalists were reportedly barred from covering the 2016 assembly.

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