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Home The News News Fewer allies voice support at UN

Fewer allies voice support at UN

Only 15 of Taiwan’s diplomatic allies spoke in favor of Taiwan at the General Debate of the 64th UN General Assembly held in New York from Sept. 23 to Wednesday, a record low since Taiwan started its bid to rejoin the UN in 1993.

Taiwan’s allies that showed support were Palau, the Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Nauru, Burkina Faso, Sao Tome and Principe, Gambia, Tuvalu, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Swaziland, the Solomon Islands, Belize, Nicaragua, Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

When presenting their statements at the general debate, all of these nations expressed support for Taiwan to gain meaningful participation in the UN’s specialized agencies, conventions and planning sessions of the UN. They also urged the international community to support Taiwan’s participation in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the International Civil Aviation Agency, saying the move would benefit humankind.

Of the 23 nations with which Taiwan has formal diplomatic relations, the Vatican is unique in that it has never played any role in secular politics. All six nations from South Asia and the Pacific and all four nations from Africa with diplomatic ties voiced their support for Taiwan. Only five of the 12 Central and South American allies expressed support.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday that the number of countries that spoke in support of Taiwan during the general debate “is not an adequate measure for assessment.”

The ministry said that this year, leaders or representatives of the 15 allies that voiced their support did so “in a completely voluntary manner; none of them received payments of any sort from Taiwan.”

More importantly, the ministry said, leaders of nations that did not voice their opinion this time would use other international events to support Taiwan in its efforts to gain participation in the UN’s specialized agencies.

The ministry also released a statement expressing appreciation to the allies that showed support at the assembly.

Taiwan has not been represented at the UN since 1971, when the Republic of China’s seat was given to the People’s Republic of China.

Since 1993, Taiwan has been battling objections by Beijing in its efforts to have the UN consider the issue of its representation.

Last year, the country shifted its strategy to promoting a bid to “participate meaningfully in the activities of specialized UN agencies,” in line with President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) modus vivendi diplomatic strategy, which stresses a moderate and pragmatic approach.

In related news, Taiwan’s representative to the EU, Shen Lyushun (沈呂巡), told a Central News Agency reporter based in Berlin that the EU’s recent reiteration of support for Taiwan’s “meaningful participation” in international organizations demonstrates the organization’s goodwill toward Taiwan.

In a European Parliament session on Sept. 17, pro-Taiwan members of parliament proposed that Taiwan — which experienced the worst flooding in 50 years during Typhoon Morakot in August — should be allowed to take part in the World Meteorological Organization to enhance the country’s preparedness for climate change as a result of global warming.

In response to the proposal, EU Commissioner Meglena Kuneva said it remained EU policy to support Taiwan’s “meaningful participation” in international organizations under “appropriate circumstances.”

Kuneva also said the EU would consider Taiwan’s request to be included in the EU’s visa waiver program.

Source: Taipei Times 2009/10/03

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Photo courtesy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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