Sat, Aug 13, 2005 - Page 3 News List

Allies launch new UN bid

By Mac William Bishop  /  STAFF REPORTER

Taiwan began its 13th bid to become a member of the UN yesterday, as the nation's allies launched a two-pronged diplomatic effort aimed at gaining recognition by the world body.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Mark Chen (陳唐山) told a gathering of reporters that the ministry was adopting a new strategy of "presenting two proposals" to the UN in order to gain representation in the organization for the people of Taiwan.

According to a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 11 of Taiwan's 26 diplomatic allies submitted a proposal entitled "The question of the representation of the 23 million people of Taiwan in the United Nations" to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan at noon on Thursday.

The statement said the proposal was called "the participation proposal."

At the same time, 13 of the allies sent a separate proposal, entitled "A proactive role for the United Nations in maintaining peace in the Taiwan Strait," to Annan's office, the statement said. That proposal was referred to as "the peace proposal."

Chen lauded the allies that had submitted the proposals, saying that their support was "based on the universal values of democracy, human rights, mutual prosperity and justice."

Taiwan, which as the Republic of China was one of the founding members of the UN in 1945, officially withdrew from the organization on Oct. 25, 1971.

In the early 1990s, the country began campaigning to rejoin the world body, but has thus far been met with stiff opposition from China, which opposes Taiwan's participation in any international organization as a sovereign state.

The ministry statement said that "Taiwan's efforts to participate in the UN are not intended to challenge the rights of or seat of any UN member states."

In unusually direct language, it said that Beijing's efforts to prevent Taiwan from joining the UN "will not help improve cross-strait relations, and will undermine peace in the [Taiwan] Strait."

"It is hoped that the Beijing authorities will face the fact that both sides have been ruled separately by different governments for more than half a century, and that Beijing will renounce its unwise enactment of the `Anti-Secession' Law, which sets the conditions for the use of force against Taiwan, and cease its barbaric attempts to constrain and repress Taiwan in the international community," the ministry said.

It was not immediately clear if the two-pronged approach adopted by the ministry would meet with any greater success than Taiwan's previous attempts to join the UN, all of which were defeated by powerful opposition from China's allies in the General Assembly.

China is a permanent member of the UN Security Council.

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