Wed, Oct 01, 2008 - Page 3 News List

Singapore, New Zealand commend Taiwan at UN

By Jenny W. Hsu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Singapore and New Zealand made the unprecedented move of publicly commending Taiwan for its efforts to alleviate cross-strait tensions during the UN General Assembly debate on Monday, saying stability in the Taiwan Strait was crucial to the harmony in the Asian region, a Central News Agency (CNA) report said yesterday.

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband also penned a letter for the first time on behalf of Prime Minister Gordon Brown to the British-Taiwan All Party Parliamentary Group, stating London’s support for Taiwan’s participation in “specialized multilateral groups” such as the WHO.

“In particular, we strongly support the principle enshrined in the WHO Constitution that the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being. It is important therefore that Taiwan should be able to interact effectively with the WHO, not just to protect the interests of its own population but also to ensure the integrity of the global health safety net,” the letter said.

“We welcome the fact that ... Taiwan decided to adopt a more pragmatic approach towards the issue of UN participation ... We believe that the ongoing dialogue between China and Taiwan represents an opportunity to make progress on international representation and wider practical confidence building measures,” it said.

The letter was sent to Sir Nicholas Winterton, the chairman of the group.

“We highly approve and welcome supports from our friends,” Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesman Henry Chen (陳銘政) said yesterday.

The positive feedback, Chen said, shows that the international community — including a public statement from the US and EU — approves of Taiwan’s pragmatic approach to the issue.

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