Thu, Oct 02, 2003 - Page 4 News List

Diplomatic allies speak out on Taiwan's UN bid

FIRM SUPPORT A number of the country's international friends addressed the UN General Assembly on Tuesday and confirmed they support its joining the world body


Seven more diplomatic allies voiced support for Taiwan's bid to join the UN at the 58th UN General Assembly on Tuesday.

Speaking during the general discussion session, Palau Vice President Sandra Pierantozzi said the 23 million people of Taiwan -- who have elected their president through direct, popular election and have carried out a transition of power in a peaceful, democratic way -- deserve a voice in the UN equal to that of member nations.

Pierantozzi said Taiwan has contributed greatly to global anti-terrorism efforts in accordance with UN resolutions and has spared no efforts in offering humanitarian assistance to needy peoples around the world.

She said that Taiwan's battle against SARS underlined the fact that excluding a country doesn't benefit any country or its people.

Chadian Foreign Minister Nagoum Yamassoum said it is regrettable that the World Health Organization did not offer timely help to Taiwan when the country was threatened by an epidemic at the height of the SARS outbreak earlier this year.

He said the people of Taiwan are entitled to lead a peaceful and democratic life and to sharing with other countries in the world.

Representatives of Belize, the Dominican Republic, Sao Tome and Principe, Malawi and the Marshall Islands also spoke out at the general discussion session to voice support for Taiwan's bid, stressing the organization's principle of universality.

The Malawian envoy urged the UN authorities to grant Taiwan admission into the organization, arguing that Taiwan has and will continue to support UN efforts to enhance the well-being of the people of the world.

Noting that the Republic of China on Taiwan was a formal member of the UN between 1949 and 1971, Gambian Foreign Minister Barboucarr-Blaise Ismaila Jagne asked the UN authorities why the same ROC on Taiwan could not be a member now.

The passage of UN Resolution 2758 in October 1972 recognized the People's Republic of China (PRC) as the sole representative of China in the organization.

Jagne said that the resolution does not solve the question of the representation of the people of Taiwan in the UN and that it has long been used to "rationalize an unreasonable situation."

Panamanian Foreign Minister Harmodio Arias suggested that the UN can serve as a place where the PRC and Taiwan can seek to resolve the problems that exist between them.

Meanwhile, Vice Premier Cyril Svoboda of the Czech Republic, with which the ROC does not have formal ties, expressed indirect support for Taiwan's UN bid by advocating the principle of universality of UN membership.

St. Christopher and Nevis Foreign Minister Timothy Harris called on the UN to pay attention to the contributions made by the ROC to the international community and to allow it representation in the world body.

The ROC abides by international law and is devoted to the promotion of international peace and development, even though it is not a UN member, Harris said, adding that admitting it into the organization would be in line with the best interests of the world community.

He urged the UN to try to remove all the possible hurdles that could block Taiwan's participation in international activities and its intention to contribute toward international development.

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