Allies support Taiwan by signing joint letter to UN

UNITED NATIONS::Twelve of the nation’s diplomatic allies sent a letter to the UN secretary-general, requesting that Taiwan be allowed to participate in the organization

Staff writer, with CNA

Fri, Sep 29, 2017 - Page 4

Twelve of Taiwan’s diplomatic allies on Tuesday sent a joint letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in support of Taiwan’s request to play a more active role in the international organization.

In the letter, the diplomatic allies called on the UN to respond positively to Taiwan’s three demands, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

The three demands are that the UN practice the principle of true universality by not rejecting Taiwan, that it end measures that prevent Taiwanese from entering UN meetings, and that it include the nation in the organization because of Taiwan’s achievements in realizing UN sustainable development goals.

The letter was accepted by UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed of Nigeria and was to be delivered to Guterres later on Tuesday, after the general debate at the General Assembly had concluded on Monday.

The 12 allies that sent the letter were Nauru, Belize, the Marshall Islands, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Swaziland, the Solomon Islands, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Tuvalu, Kiribati, Burkina Faso, Haiti and El Salvador.

After handing over the joint letter, Lois Michele Young, the permanent representative of Belize to the UN, questioned why Taiwanese could not step inside UN headquarters, as Republic of China (ROC) passport holders enjoy visa-free travel or travel privileges to 165 countries and territories that are all UN members.

There is no reason Taiwan, the world’s 22nd-largest economy, should be excluded from discussions on global affairs, she added.

Sehon Marshall, the permanent representative to the UN of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, said he plans to continue to persuade and encourage the UN to lift all restrictions on the ROC.

Three other allies — Nicaragua, Paraguay and Honduras — each sent individual letters to the UN Secretariat on Taiwan’s behalf.

Monsignor Tomasz Grysa, deputy head of the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the UN, was one of 10 allies that signed another joint letter delivered to the UN.

Expressing its gratitude to the nation’s allies for their support, the ministry reiterated its appeal that the UN take action to accept Taiwan’s participation in UN-related organizations.