Alliance to push UN bid for 15th year

SECRETIVE::The Taiwan United Nations Alliance declined to reveal the date of a planned protest outside the Chinese embassy in the US to avoid countermeasures

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Wed, Sep 05, 2018 - Page 3

Lawmakers and the government yesterday threw their support behind the Taiwan United Nations Alliance, which is to send a delegation to the US to advocate Taiwan’s UN membership bid for the 15th consecutive year.

The delegation, which is to visit the US from Friday to Sept. 17, is to comprise of 23 members, 10 of whom are younger than 35.

It is to hold a series of events in Los Angeles, New York and Washington to rally support for Taiwan’s bid to join the UN, alliance president Michael Tsai (蔡明憲), who is to lead the delegation, told a news conference in Taipei.

The events would include a forum with Taiwanese expats in Los Angeles on Saturday and a campaign event at One Dag Hammarskjold Plaza near the UN headquarters building in New York on Friday next week, Tsai said.

The alliance declined to reveal the date of a planned protest outside the Chinese embassy in the US ahead of the opening of the UN General Assembly on Sept. 18, to avoid countermeasures from Beijing.

“We also plan to meet with several US lawmakers and visit a number of US think tanks, including the Hudson Institute and the Global Taiwan Institute,” Tsai said, adding that he also hopes to meet with US National Security Adviser John Bolton to discuss the possibility of Taipei and Washington re-establishing formal diplomatic ties.

A letter petitioning for Taiwan’s inclusion into the global body would be sent to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the representatives of UN member states, he said.

Although the alliance and the government have different appeals this year, their ultimate goal is to seek global support for Taiwan’s participation in the UN and to increase the nation’s international presence, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Secretary-General James Lee (李光章) said.

“I would like to express my gratitude to the self-initiated effort to help convey to the international community Taiwanese’s aspiration to participate at the UN,” Lee said.

The government has decided not to push for Taiwan’s UN membership at the General Assembly this year and is to instead adhere to its “moderate and reasonable” promotion of the nation’s pragmatic, professional and constructive participation at UN-related events.

It is also to issue three demands: that the world body address Taiwan’s exclusion from the UN; end measures preventing Taiwanese individuals and reporters from entering UN meetings; and ensure Taiwan’s right to participate in meetings and events related to the realization of the UN’ Sustainable Development Goals in an equal and dignified manner.

“Success is only possible when the government and civil society play their own parts in the collective endeavor” to push for Taiwan’s participation at the UN, Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Wang Ding-yu (王定宇) said.

Realizing that goal is not an easy task and might take several generations to see some progress, Wang said, adding that he refuses to take the easy way out, which is giving up.

The alliance argues in its letter that UN General Assembly Resolution 2758, adopted in 1971, only addresses the issue of the representation of “China” at the UN and should therefore not be cited as grounds for excluding Taiwan from the world body, Wang said.

New Power Party Legislator Hsu Yung-ming (徐永明) said the party plans to draw up a resolution today that expresses the Legislative Yuan’s support for the alliance’s bid to push for Taiwan’s UN membership.

“We hope that the resolution will be approved and signed by all party caucuses,” he said.