Wed, Sep 07, 2016 - Page 3 News List

Alliance to push UN membership at event in NY

SEEKING A SEAT:Taiwan United Nations Alliance said that UN Resolution 2758 should not be a factor, as Chiang Kai-shek’s regime did not represent Taiwanese

By Chen Wei-han  /  Staff reporter

Taiwan United Nations Alliance director Michael Tsai, front row, third right, and other alliance members gesture at a news conference in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Liu Hsin-de, Taipei Times

Members of the Taiwan United Nations Alliance are to depart for the US on Friday to promote Taiwan’s membership in the UN ahead of the international body’s general assembly next week.

The alliance will stage a musical promotion event in front of UN headquarters in New York on Saturday next week to highlight Taiwan’s intention to join the organization and meet with US think tanks and politicians to seek support in the US Congress, alliance director Michael Tsai (蔡明憲) said yesterday.

The alliance is to post a letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and representatives to the UN to advocate the nation’s inclusion.

A poll by the Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation found that 84.8 percent of Taiwanese backed a UN bid, with the support holding at 83.2 percent if China expressed opposition, Tsai said.

“Such strong, non-partisan support is a legitimate reason for Taiwan’s inclusion in the UN,” he said.

Taiwan should not be subject to UN Resolution 2758, according to which the body “expelled forthwith the representatives of Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石)” from the UN and its affiliated organizations, because Chiang’s regime did not represent Taiwan, Tsai said.

“Taiwanese were dragged along and have been international orphans for 45 years,” he said.

“Taiwan is one of the few nations that do not have UN membership. Even Palestine and the Holy See have an observer status at the UN. Taiwanese will remain forever as international orphans if our voice is not heard,” alliance secretary-general William Lo (羅榮光) said.

Lo said he was indignant when the WHO only sent a couple of officials to Taiwan two weeks after the nation was hit by the SARS outbreak, adding that Taiwan could not afford to be continually excluded from the international community.

The UN bid is part of the transitional justice that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration is pushing, as it was an opinion stifled during Chiang’s totalitarian regime, Taiwan Society chairman Chang Yeh-sen (張葉森) said.

Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lee (李大維), who has said the government would not pursue UN membership, would lose support if he does not change his attitude, Chang added.

The government has to adopt a mild approach toward the UN bid due to international pressure, but non-governmental organizations can aggressively seek a seat at the UN, DPP Legislator Lo Chih-cheng (羅致政) said.

“We have to stand firm against China’s oppression and the greater the oppression, the more support the UN bid will have,” Lo said.

It is the best time for the nation to seek UN membership under the name of Taiwan, as the DPP has control of the legislature and the central government, while tensions between China and its neighbors is escalating, former Taiwan Solidarity Union legislator Chou Ni-an (周倪安) said.

At a private meeting with the alliance director, National Security Council Secretary-General Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) pledged to assist the alliance and said Taiwan’s voice has to be heard, despite the international reality and Beijing’s intervention, Tsai said, adding that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Overseas Community Affairs Council also promised to help.

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