Wed, Sep 12, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Chen's letter to the UN fails to break through 2758

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

Taiwan United Nations Alliance members shout slogans for Taiwan's UN bid at a press conference yesterday in Taipei.


President of the 61st session of the UN General Assembly Sheikha Haya Rashed Al Khalifa returned President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) letter protesting UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's rejection of Taiwan's UN application, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday.

Ministry Spokesman David Wang (王建業) said the response did not come as a surprise and that the administration would continue to apply for UN membership using the name "Taiwan."

Wang said he hoped the General Assembly would fully debate the issue during the 62nd session, which opens on Tuesday.

Chen had asked the Marshall Islands' permanent representative to the UN to deliver the letter voicing Taiwan's protest against Ban's interpretation of UN Resolution 2758 to al-Khalifa.

Sheikha Haya returned the letter on Monday, citing UN Resolution 2758.

Sheikha Haya said the 61st session could not supersede the authority of the next session because Taiwan had asked 16 of its diplomatic allies to request that its membership application be considered during the 62nd session.


This was not the first time the UN rejected Chen's letters. He sent a letter to Ban on July 18 requesting UN membership under the name "Taiwan," a departure from previous applications that had used the name "Republic of China."

The UN Office of Legal Affairs rejected the letter on July 23, citing UN Resolution 2758, which UN officials said is the basis of the "one China" policy at the world body.

Ban defended his rejection of the application, saying that Resolution 2758 "clearly mention[s] that the government of China is the sole and legitimate government and the position of the United Nations is that Taiwan is part of China."

Chen then sent Ban another letter on July 27 and a similar one to Chinese Ambassador to the UN Wang Guangya (王光亞), in which he asked them to reconsider Taiwan's request to join the organization and said that the application should be processed in accordance with UN procedure.

Presidential Office Secretary-General Yeh Chu-lan (葉菊蘭) said yesterday that the country must not abandon its determination to join the UN under the name "Taiwan" because it is the consensus of more than 70 percent of Taiwanese.

"We must let the world hear our voice and tell it that we, as an independent sovereignty, want to join the international organization," she said.


A coalition of pro-independence groups, meanwhile, called on Taiwanese yesterday to support the nation's UN bid.

Taiwan United Nations Alliance secretary-general Twu Shiing-jer (涂醒哲), said Taiwanese were fed up with the UN Secretariat's continual snubbing of Chen's letters and that the US had used Taiwan's UN bid as a pretext to punish Chen.

He called on private groups to join forces with his organization for the UN campaign.

He also called on the public to participate in a march organized by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in Kaohsiung on Saturday and endorse a referendum proposed by DPP to join the UN using the name "Taiwan."

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