Sun, Sep 18, 2005 - Page 2 News List

Taiwan's NGOs find fault with UN 2005 summit document


Several non-governmental organizations (NGOs) yesterday criticized the UN's 2005 World Summit Outcome for what they said was its lack of reforms or practical solutions to crucial issues.

The 2005 World Summit Outcome was adopted by the UN General Assembly on Friday, providing the international community with a unified stance on a range of issues ranging from combating poverty to condemning terrorism.

The document, passed by acclamation at the end of the three-day meeting in New York, expressed a strong commitment to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015 and to pledged to raise an additional US$50 billion a year by 2010 for fighting poverty.

It set up two new bodies, a Peacebuilding Commission to help countries in transition from war to peace, and a Human Rights Council. The document also called for international condemnation of terrorism, genocide and crimes against humanity.

Although Taiwan has failed its 13th bid to become a member of the UN this year, representatives of a number of local NGOs met yesterday to voice their concerns about the UN's reform efforts, as shown in the document, and urge further reform efforts.

Mab Huang (黃默), vice president of the International Human Rights Education Consortium, said that Taiwan should support the UN's concern for world peace and its upgrading its Human Rights Commission to the Human Rights Council.

"But we will have to see whether the council can restore the bad reputation earned by the Human Rights Commission, which had countries with bad human-rights records as members," he said.

Chien Hsi-chieh (簡錫皆), executive director of the Peacetime foundation of Taiwan said the nation's NGOs should urge the UN to stress world peace and security, and never overlook the importance of a peaceful cross-strait relationship.

"Cross-strait relations are crucial for maintaining peace and safety in Asia. It is an international issue, and the UN should intervene, instead of sitting idly by," Chien said.

The NGOs questioned the budget allocated for fighting poverty. They suggested that at least 1 percent of a country's gross national product is necessary to achieve this goal.

Participants said that as a member in the international community, Taiwan should be more responsive to the UN's development. They called on the government to provide more solutions to human-rights issues, especially when more immigrants are becoming members of society in this country.

"The government should sign and carry out treaties that promote international human rights and world peace, put an end to the death penalty and show the world our efforts in promoting human rights," said Wu Chih-kuang (吳志光), the convener of Taiwan Alliance to End the Death Penalty.

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