Sat, Jun 22, 2019 - Page 4 News List

IFJ condemns exclusion of journalists from WHA

Staff writer, with CNA

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) last week passed an urgent resolution condemning the UN’s “discriminatory exclusion” of Taiwanese journalists from this year’s World Health Assembly (WHA) and demanding that the UN end its policy of excluding journalists from non-member nations.

“Amongst the nearly 23.8 million people having been stripped of their voice are also journalists, who were barred from press briefings at the assembly for being holders of Taiwanese passports and working for a bona fide media organization formally registered in Taiwan,” said the resolution, which was among 13 urgent resolutions passed at the IFJ’s 30th World Congress held in Tunisia from Tuesday to Friday last week.

The resolution, proposed by the Association of Taiwan Journalists and published on the IFJ Web site on Monday, says that the journalists who were denied access are employed by Taiwan’s national wire service, the Central News Agency (CNA), which produces news daily in Chinese, English, Japanese and Spanish.

The resolution calls on the UN to stop oppressing journalists “for being who they are and for whom they chose to work, and to immediately remove the term dictating [that an] applicant’s passport must be from a state recognized by the United Nations General Assembly.”

Association secretary-general Ian Chen (陳益能), a member of the IFJ executive committee, said that the appeal was made to show that Taiwanese media are “legitimate and genuine.”

The international community should allow Taiwan’s professional media outlets to do their work at important international events, he said, adding that CNA had applied to cover this year’s WHA, but its application was rejected.

The IFJ Congress has agreed to ask the UN to stop suppressing journalists and to immediately remove the requirement that anyone applying for access to UN organizations must have a passport issued by nations recognized by the UN General Assembly, the association said.

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