Tue, Sep 12, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan to urge greater UN participation

Staff writer, with CNA

Members of the Taiwan United Nations Alliance hold a banner calling on the government to push for UN membership under the name of “Taiwan” at a forum at the Taiwan Center in Los Angeles yesterday.

Photo: CNA

Taiwan is to call for greater participation in UN-related organizations through allies’ speeches, official letters and other methods when the 72nd UN General Assembly opens in New York today.

Taiwan would ask its diplomatic allies to speak out in support of the nation’s meaningful participation in UN-affiliated agencies, as has been the case in previous years, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Paul Chang (章文樑) said yesterday.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) will ask permanent representatives of Taiwan’s diplomatic allies to the UN to send a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to explain the pressing need to include Taiwan in UN-affiliated agencies, Chang told a news conference.

However, unlike in previous years, Taiwan will also make three demands to press the UN not to forget the 23 million Taiwanese who have been neglected by the world body for decades, he said.

First and foremost, Taiwan is an important partner in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Chang said, and called on the UN not to reject Taiwan in line with the principle of true universality.

Second, the measures barring Taiwanese from UN meetings should be lifted in view of the values of diversity, equality and freedom symbolized by the body, he said.

Taiwanese have been barred from attending meetings and conferences held at the UN’s New York headquarters and the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, unless they show a Mainland Travel Permit for Taiwan Residents, Chang said.

The permit is issued to Taiwanese by Beijing for travel across the Taiwan Strait.

“The unreasonable measure should be revoked as soon as possible,” Chang said.

Finally, the government is urging the UN to include Taiwan because of its achievements in realizing the SDGs through its participation in a series of thematic discussions based on the UN Agenda for Sustainable Development 2030, Chang said.

As part of Taiwan’s appeal, Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lee (李大維) has written an article, titled Taiwan, a Valuable Partner for SDGs — True Universality, for use in international media, Chang said.

The foreign ministry has also released a short film, titled Taiwan: A Partner for a Better World, online.

Other events would also be held during the UN session in New York, including a seminar hosted by Environmental Protection Administration Minister Lee Ying-yuan (李應元) and activities organized by civic groups, he added.

“The government calls on the UN squarely face the issue of the right of the 23 million Taiwanese to participate in the organization and immediately stop these discriminatory measures before both sides find a mutually acceptable approach for Taiwan to attend UN-affiliated organizations,” Chang said.

Taiwan lost its UN membership in 1971 with the passage of a resolution recognizing the People’s Republic of China as the only legitimate representative of China to the international body.

The government in 1993 launched an annual campaign to reclaim the UN seat.

In 2007, then-president Chen Shui-bian’s (陳水扁) Democratic Progressive Party administration sought UN membership under the name “Taiwan,” but was not successful.

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) administration from 2008 to last year did not apply for UN membership, instead pursuing meaningful participation in UN-affiliated organizations.

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