Sat, Aug 24, 2019 - Page 3 News List

MOFA to push UN participation ahead of general assembly

By Lin Chia-nan  /  Staff reporter

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Kelly Hsieh, center, speaks at a news conference in Taipei yesterday accompanied by Department of International Organizations Director-General Bob Chen, left, and ministry spokesperson Joanne Ou.

Photo: CNA

As the 74th session of the UN General Assembly is beginning next month, Taiwan would continue pushing to attend by highlighting its achievements in promoting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and universal healthcare, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Kelly Hsieh (謝武樵) said yesterday.

The session is to begin on Sept. 17 at the UN headquarters in New York, with the UN General Debate running from Sept. 24 to Sept. 30, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said.

The Republic of China (ROC) withdrew from the UN in 1971.

The government has been pushing to rejoin the UN every year since 1993, Hsieh told a news conference in Taipei.

This time, the ministry’s proposal would center on the idea that “Taiwan is an important partner of global efforts in promoting SDGs,” in a bid to let the world know that it is willing and able to contribute to related international schemes, he said.

Hsieh said that the proposal contains three appeals: The UN should take immediate action to solve the unfair exclusion of 23 million Taiwanese from the UN system; it should correct its improper policy of banning Taiwanese and Taiwanese journalists from visiting its premises; and it should ensure that Taiwan has the right to equal and dignified participation at events that are about the realization of SDGs.

The ministry would ask Taiwan’s diplomatic allies to speak up for it at the assembly and write to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, he said, without revealing the number of allies endorsing such action.

The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in New York would hold a series of forums on sustainable development, universal healthcare and youth empowerment in New York throughout next month, Hsieh said.

Minister Without Portfolio Audrey Tang (唐鳳) and Environmental Protection Administration officials would be invited to the forums, he added.

The Taiwan United Nations Alliance also plans to organize a team that would push for Taiwan’s participation at the UN General Assembly in New York, Washington and Toronto from Sept. 7 to Sept. 14, the ministry said.

Overseas Taiwanese would stage a “Global Fight” parade on Sept. 7 and an event promoting Taiwan’s signature drink — bubble tea — on Sept. 21 and Sept. 22, it said.

People presenting ROC passports are not allowed to enter the UN headquarters, which require them to present “Taiwan compatriot travel documents” — permits issued to Taiwanese by Chinese authorities for travel to China, ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) said.

Some UN-affiliated events follow the policy even outside the UN headquarters, she said, adding that Chinese suppression of Taiwan is only getting worse.

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