Taiwan’s meaningful participation in the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is a necessity, Minister of Transportation and Communications Hochen Tan (賀陳旦) said in a statement to the international community, adding that aviation safety affairs and other challenges must be tackled through close cooperation among all nations.
The statement highlighting the urgency and importance of Taiwan’s presence at the ICAO Assembly was reported in major publications around the world on Monday.
As of yesterday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was yet to receive an invitation to attend the ICAO Assembly, which is to begin on Tuesday next week at the organization’s headquarters in Montreal, Canada.
Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lee (李大維) said in a plenary session at the Legislative Yuan that the ministry would be able to determine whether the nation is able to attend by Friday.
The nation attended the ICAO Assembly in 2013 as a guest for the first time since it lost its UN seat in 1971.
Then-ICAO Council president Roberto Kobeh-Gonzalez told reporters covering the 2013 event that allowing Taiwan to attend the assembly as a guest was Beijing’s idea.
Hochen did not mention China’s opposition to Taiwan’s participation at the ICAO Assembly in his statement.
He said that Taiwan is in the busiest airspace in East Asia.
He said statistics from the Airports Council International showed that Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport was 11th in the world in passenger volume and sixth for cargo volume last year.
“The Taipei Flight Information Region — administered by Taiwan — provided more than 1.53 million instances of air traffic control service and handled 58 million incoming and outgoing passengers last year, serving as an indispensable part of the global air transport network,” he said, adding that civil aviation authorities have outdone their counterparts in many other countries in striving over the past four decades to meet flight safety and security regulations set by the ICAO.
“Air safety, navigation, security, environmental protection and economic matters are of great concern to the ICAO, and related challenges must be tackled through close cooperation among all countries. As such, Taiwan’s meaningful participation in the ICAO is a necessity,” Hochen said.
Taiwan needs international support to maintain its participation at the ICAO Assembly, Hochen said, adding that the nation attended ICAO activities because of support from European nations, the US and others.
“Taiwan will continue to share its experience and expertise with other nations to help ensure the safe, orderly and sustainable development of the international civil aviation industry,” he said.
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