DPP questions minister on UN bid

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff reporter

Fri, Oct 05, 2012 - Page 3

Several Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers yesterday sought an answer on the question of whether the new minister of foreign affairs, who had actively pushed for the nation’s entry into the UN during the former DPP government, has changed his stance on the matter.

David Lin (林永樂), who assumed the position on Thursday last week, served as director-general of the ministry’s Department of International Organizations in 2007 and 2008, when the DPP was in power.

Showing an article of Lin published on Sept. 30, 2007, that highlighted the important implications of the bid by then-president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) to join the UN under the name “Taiwan,” DPP lawmakers Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) and Tsai Huang-liang (蔡煌瑯) asked Lin if he still held those views.

Joining the UN has been “a long-term goal” of the nation, Lin told lawmakers at the legislature’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee meeting.

“We set ourselves certain goals we want to reach at different stages,” Lin said, adding that he implemented the diplomatic policies set by the then-DPP administration when he was at the Department of International Organizations.

After adjustments in the government’s strategic thinking, the ministry now focuses on joining specialized UN agencies based on the principles of pragmatism and flexibility and not taking “provocative actions,” Lin said.

From 1993 until 2007, Taiwan, which lost its seat in the UN in 1971, pushed its campaign for full UN membership every year. After President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) came into office in May 2008, Taiwan forwent its quest for UN full membership, instead seeking “meaningful participation” in the 16 auxiliary agencies of the UN.

Tsai told Lin that his vacillation on that matter was an embodiment of the old saying that “with a change of seat comes a change of mind.”