Sat, Sep 21, 2013 - Page 3 News List

US thanked for support before UN aviation meeting

Staff writer, with CNA, WASHINGTON

Taiwan’s representative to the US has thanked US politicians for their long-term support for Taiwan’s bid to take part in activities of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

Representative to the US King Pu-tsung (金溥聰) sent thank-you letters to a number of US political figures on Wednesday after the head of the ICAO governing body invited Taiwan’s civil aviation chief to lead a delegation to attend the ICAO General Assembly.

ICAO Council President Roberto Kobeh Gonzalez sent an invitation to Taiwan’s Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) director-general Jean Shen (沈啟) on Sept. 11 to head a delegation to the triennial ICAO assembly as his guest.

King said the invitation marked an important step forward toward Taiwan’s goal of meaningful participation in ICAO activities and was helped by the US government.

“The wide support rendered by the executive and legislative branches of the United States and other like-minded countries, and the improvements in cross-strait relations over the past few years have contributed to this progress,” the letter said.

A number of precedents will be set when Shen, Taiwan’s first female civil aviation chief, leads a delegation of CAA aviation administrators and experts to the ICAO assembly, which runs from Tuesday until Oct. 4 in Montreal, under the designation “Chinese Taipei.”

It will be the first time a country has ever participated in the ICAO assembly as a guest of the head of the ICAO governing council and the first time since Taiwan lost its UN seat 42 years ago that it will be able to take part in a UN specialized agency activity.

Since 2009, Taiwan has been seeking international support for its bid to participate in a meaningful way in UN specialized agencies such as the ICAO, and, even with the invitation, its goal remains obtaining observer status in the organization.

The US has been a major supporter of Taiwan’s bid and passed a bill signed into law by US President Barack Obama in July that required the US secretary of state to develop a strategy to obtain observer status for Taiwan at the ICAO conference.

In this regard, King said, Taiwan hopes the US will continue to support its bid for “further participation in the ICAO as an observer so as to advance its relations with regional and global civil aviation communities.”

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