Parliamentarians in the UK and Italy have called on the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) to invite Taiwan to attend its general assembly as an observer so that Taiwan cam make concrete contributions.
Nigel Evans and Lord Rogan, cochairs of the British-Taiwanese All-Party Parliamentary Group, issued a joint statement, saying that the group has long supported Taiwan’s meaningful participation in international organizations.
“We were dismayed to learn that Taiwan has yet to be invited to participate in the upcoming 88th Interpol General Assembly in Chile as an observer due to unnecessary political considerations,” they said in the statement. “We believe this will in turn obstruct the collective interests of the international community.”
Citing Article 2 of Interpol’s constitution, Evans and Rogan said that its aims are to ensure and promote the widest possible mutual assistance between police authorities around the world.
“Transnational crime is rampant in today’s globalized world, thus we must establish a reliable and seamless global law enforcement network without gaps,” they said. “To this end, the cooperation of police authorities from all over the world is indispensable, and Taiwan’s presence is essential to the realization of this objective.”
Taiwan’s population of 23.5 million is bigger than that of more than 100 Interpol member countries and it is a major hub for the movement of capital, goods and people, with more than 68.9 million passengers passing though last year alone, they said.
“Taiwan’s ability in sharing international security intelligence and combating cross-border crime would contribute to the global security and counter-terrorism efforts,” Evans and Rogan said.
“Its continued exclusion from Interpol undermines the global endeavor to fight terrorism, illicit drugs, telecom fraud, cybercrime and other new forms of transnational crime, diminishing the effectiveness of the international law enforcement network,” they said.
The parliamentary group supports Taiwan’s participation at Interpol, at its general assembly as an observer and at its meetings, mechanisms and activities, the statement said.
Representative to the UK David Lin (林永樂) thanked the British group for its support for Taiwan’s participation at international organizations.
Separately, 16 parliamentarians in the Italy-Taiwan Parliamentary Friendship Group on Sept. 30 wrote a letter to Interpol president Kim Jong-yang and Interpol secretary-general Jurgen Stock, expressing support for Taiwan’s bid to participate as an observer at the general assembly in San Diego from Tuesday to Friday next week.
The letter was initiated by Italian Senator Lucio Malan, who heads the Italian group, as well as his two deputies Marco Di Maio and Alessandro Pagano.
The 16 Italian parliamentarians said that without participation at Interpol, Taiwan cannot gain access to global criminal databases through the organization’s I-24/7 police communications system or other channels.
This exposes Taiwan to international criminal activity and leaves a loophole in the global security network, they said, adding that Taiwan’s exclusion from Interpol was purely a political issue.
Taiwan should not be excluded, given that it has been working closely with the international community, sharing the common goals of many other countries to combat crime, the Italian group said.
Four other Italian parliamentarians — Paolo Arrigoni, Massimo Candura, Emanuel Pellegrini and Manuel Vescovi — on Thursday called on Rome to say whether it had any concrete plans to help Taiwan gain participation at Interpol.
The Republic of China was an Interpol member country until 1984, when China gained admission and started pushing for Taiwan to be re-designated as “China, Taiwan.” In the face of those circumstances, Taiwan withdrew from Interpol.
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