Sat, Sep 19, 2009 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan to seek participation in UN specialized agencies

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

The government has identified two UN specialized agencies in which the nation would seek “meaningful participation” this year, Premier Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) said yesterday.

The two agencies are the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), said Wu when fielding questioned filed by Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Chu Fong-chi (朱鳳芝) on the legislative floor.

Wu said the government would seek help from the country’s allies to initiate the proposals this month and write letters to other UN members to seek more support.

Following the opening of the 64th session of the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, the General Committee on Wednesday reviewed requests by member nations to include specific issues as supplementary items on the agenda.

For the first time in 17 years, Taiwan has not mobilized its diplomatic allies to request that the world body include Taiwan’s bid for UN membership on the agenda.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Timothy Yang (楊進添) said on Tuesday that while Taiwan will not make a bid to enter the UN this year, it will seek greater participation in UN-affiliated agencies.

An official with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who wished to remain anonymous, said last night the ministry would make the proposal public early next week.

SPECIAL MUNICIPALITIES

Meanwhile, in his 10-minute report to the legislature Wu yesterday said four new special municipalities would be created and become operational by Dec. 25 next year as stipulated by the law.

“The Executive Yuan will accelerate efforts to work out measures and regulations to facilitate the upgrading and mergers of seven existing cities and counties into the four new special municipalities,” he said.

The legislature passed an amendment to the Local Government Act (地方制度法) in April to serve as the legal basis for upgrading Taipei County and merging Taichung City and Taichung County, Kaohsiung City and Kaohsiung County, and Tainan City and Tainan County into special municipalities next year.

Wu also pledged to push for an amendment of the controversial Assembly and Parade Assembly Law (集會遊行法) after the opinions of all sectors of the public were considered.

Wu cited five priorities for his administration: accelerating post-typhoon reconstruction and strengthening flood-prevention efforts; completing preparations to combat the A(H1N1) virus outbreak; revitalizing the domestic economy and boosting employment; improving cross-strait relations and expanding diplomacy; and promoting the beneficial while abolishing the harmful.

Elaborating on the goal of strengthening ties with Beijing, Wu said the Executive Yuan would seek to enhance Taiwan’s economic exchanges with China based on the “Taiwan first, people benefit” principle.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY SHIH HSIU-CHUAN

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