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U.N. bid this year will set tone for the future: Foreign Ministry

ROC Central News Agency

2009/09/10 13:47:52
Taipei, Sept. 10 (CNA) Taiwan's approach to its bid for representation in the United Nations this year will set the tone for its future strategies to participate in international organizations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said Thursday.

"With the positive developments in cross-Taiwan Strait relations and the very different situation this year, our 2009 bid will be a model for our approach to international participation, therefore, we need more time to firm it up, " Paul Chang, director-general of the MOFA's Department of International Organizations, said at a regular press briefing.

Preparations for this year's bid are in the final stages and the Foreign Ministry will hold a press conference in the next few days to fully explain its approach, he added.

However, Taiwan is likely to take the same path as it did last year, seeking meaningful participation in the activities of U.N. specialized agencies, Chang said.

He declined to answer a question on whether Taiwan had approached China on the U.N. matter, saying only that details of the bid will be explained later.

Taiwan has not been represented in the U.N. since 1971 when the Republic of China's seat was given to the People's Republic of China.

Its annual efforts to rejoin the body since 1993 have failed, as have its attempts to be part of U.N.-affiliated organizations, mainly because of China's obstruction.

But with relations between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait thawing since President Ma Ying-jeou's administration took office last year, Taiwan was invited to attend the World Health Assembly -- the decision-making arm of the U.N.-affiliated World Health Organization -- as an observer in May.

Last year, in a departure from the high-profile push in 2007 for full membership in the United Nations under the name Taiwan, the country proposed that it be allowed to "participate meaningfully in the activities of U.N. specialized agencies." That approach was in line with President Ma's "modus vivendi" or flexible diplomatic strategy, which favors a moderate and pragmatic approach to expanding Taiwan's international space.

Although the request failed to make the agenda of the 63rd session of the U.N. General Assembly last year, it was well received by major countries such as the United States, Japan, and some European Union countries, which issued statements in support of the effort.

The 64th U.N. General Assembly session is scheduled to open Sept. 15 at the U.N. headquarters in New York.

(By Rachel Chan) Enditem /pc

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