The French Senate on Thursday adopted a resolution in support of Taiwan’s participation in international organizations, including the WHO.
The resolution, put forth on March 27 by the Senate’s Taiwan Friendship Group, was passed with a vote of 304-0, with 19 abstentions.
French Senator Alain Richard, who is chairman of the group, said during a presentation of the proposal that Taiwan’s bid to participate in the WHO should be supported because of its outstanding efforts against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Taiwan should also be supported in its bid to participate in other international organizations and treaties, such as the International Criminal Police Organization, the International Civil Aviation Organization and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, he added.
During a 30-minute debate on the resolution, representatives of nine political caucuses expressed their opinions, while one abstained, citing its foreign relations stance.
Commenting on the senate’s passage of the resolution, Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, secretary of state at the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs, said the government supports Taiwan’s participation in international organizations.
Peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait is important to the world, he said.
French Senator Andre Gattolin, who is vice chairman of the French Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defense and Armed Forces, said the vote on the resolution indicated bipartisan support for Taiwan.
French Senator Joelle Garriaud-Maylam said the resolution signals to Beijing that Taiwan is not alone and has the support of many Western countries.
The resolution was passed ahead of the 74th annual meeting of the World Health Assembly, the decisionmaking body of the WHO, which is scheduled to be held virtually from May 24 to June 1.
Representative to France Francois Wu (吳志中) in a Facebook post yesterday called the vote “a historic moment.”
Presidential Office spokesman Xavier Chang (張惇涵) said in a statement yesterday that it was the first time the French Senate passed such a resolution backing Taiwan’s international participation.
After G7 foreign ministers on Wednesday issued a joint communique to support Taiwan’s WHO participation, the similar move by the French Senate demonstrates Taiwan’s success in combating the COVID-19 pandemic through its democratic system, Chang said.
President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) thanked Richard and other senators, as well as the French government, for their support of Taiwan’s international participation, he said, adding that Taiwan would continue to deepen relations with France and other like-minded countries, and would not end its positive contributions to international society.
When many countries are affected by a second wave of COVID-19, Taiwan’s inclusion in the global health system is necessary and welcomed by Taiwanese, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) deputy director of international affairs Ho Chih-yung (何志勇) said.
Additional reporting by Lin Chia-nan
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