Fifteen allies support Taiwan with motion at UN

FOLLOW THE RULES: The motion asks that the world body deal with Taiwan's application for membership in accordance with the organization's standard procedures


Fri, Aug 17, 2007 - Page 3

Fifteen of Taiwan's diplomatic allies have put forward a motion at the UN urging the world body to deal with Taiwan's membership application according to established procedures, Taiwanese officials stationed in New York said on Wednesday.

The motion, which the allies said they hoped would be included on the agenda of the upcoming annual gathering of the UN General Assembly, was submitted on Tuesday by the ambassadors to the UN from Gambia, Swaziland and Tuvalu -- three of the motion's sponsors.

The other sponsors of the motion were Belize, Burkina Faso, Honduras, Kiribati, Malawi, the Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Sao Tome and Principe, and the Solomon Islands.

The 62nd regular session of the General Assembly is scheduled to open on Sept. 18 at the UN headquarters in New York. The General Committee is expected to meet on Sept. 19 to finalize the agenda of the session.

Taiwan has tried without success to re-enter the UN since 1993. This year marks the first time it has changed tactics by bidding to join the world body under the name of "Taiwan" rather than "the Republic of China."

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) sent a membership application letter on behalf of Taiwan to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on July 19, but the letter was returned by Ban, who cited UN Resolution 2758 as the reason for his rejection of the application.

On July 31, Chen sent a second letter to Ban urging him to reconsider his decision and one to Wang Guangya (王光亞), Chinese ambassador to the UN, who was rotating president of the Security Council last month. The second letter was also returned.

Taiwan has strongly protested Ban's move, claiming that only the Security Council and the General Assembly have the authority to review and decide on membership applications and that the UN Secretariat does not have the power to decide on such matters.

Taiwanese officials have argued that Resolution 2758 neither grants China the right to represent Taiwan at the UN nor addresses the status of Taiwan.