The New York-based UN Correspondents Association (UNCA) sent a letter on Wednesday to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon calling for the world body to allow Taiwanese journalists to cover the UN and other related activities, including the upcoming World Health Assembly (WHA).
The letter, jointly signed by UNCA members, states that all media workers should be treated on an equal footing regardless of their nationalities or what countries their media organizations belong to.
Taiwanese journalists are banned from covering the WHA meeting every year and excluded from access to the UN and its affiliated agencies.
The letter stated that in light of the press freedom set forth in the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, all media workers should enjoy the same rights and privileges.
“We believe that in the name of freedom of the press, and in light of the UN Charter and Universal Declaration of Human Rights, all journalists should be granted the same rights and privileges,” the letter read.
The UNCA voiced its hope that before resolving the issue of issuing UN press passes to Taiwanese reporters, the UN would first allow Taiwanese reporters to cover the WHA annual meeting scheduled to open on Monday in Geneva.
The Geneva-based Association of Correspondents Accredited to the UN adopted a resolution in March calling for the UN secretary-general to reconsider the discriminatory policy of excluding Taiwanese journalists from covering UN-related activities.
Speaking at a conference marking World Press Freedom Day held on May 1 at the UN headquarters, UNCA president J. Tuyet Nguyen also called for the world body to respect Taiwanese journalists’ news coverage rights.