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Taiwan to strive for nation to be heard at U.N.: foreign minister

ROC Central News Agency

2018/08/29 17:31:40

Taipei, Aug. 29 (CNA) The main goal in Taiwan's bid for greater participation at the United Nations this year is to ensure the nation's voice is heard internationally, Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said Wednesday.

The 73rd session of the U.N. General Assembly will open Sept. 18 at U.N. Headquarters in New York, with the annual general debate scheduled for Sept. 25 to Oct. 1.

Asked to comment on the nation's U.N. bid, Wu told reporters in Taipei that the guiding principle for the decades-long campaign is that "Taiwan's voice needs to be heard by the international community."

Wu did not directly answer the question when asked if Taiwan has lobbied for the U.S. and other major world powers to speak up for it at the upcoming UNGA session, saying only that his ministry is seeking all the help it can get from around the globe.

Meanwhile, announcing Taiwan's intent to push for greater U.N. participation this year at a separate press event, deputy foreign minister Kelly Hsieh (謝武樵) said as in previous years the government will ask its diplomatic allies to speak on its behalf in general debate.

"Taiwan's government has asked allies' Permanent Representatives to the U.N. to write to secretary-general Antonio Guterres, urging him to resolve the long-standing issue of the exclusion of Taiwan's 23 million people from the U.N. in accordance with the spirit of the U.N. Charter and uphold the principles of fairness and justice," Hsieh said.

Taiwan also asked the U.N. not to deny Taiwanese nationals access to U.N. meetings and activities, nor deny Taiwan's journalists the equal right to cover U.N. events.

To help the international community gain a better understanding of Taiwan, Hsieh said minister Wu will soon write an op-ed, and produce a series of short videos about the nation's implementation of U.N. proposed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), addressing Taiwan's successes in the areas of clean energy, national health insurance coverage and the circular economy.

Taiwan's civic groups and overseas compatriot communities are also scheduled to hold events in New York during the U.N. session to send a message to the international organization that Taiwan is willing and able to implement the SDGs in conjunction with the rest of the world, he said.

The Republic of China (Taiwan) lost its U.N. membership in 1971, following the passage of a resolution stating that the People's Republic of China was the only legitimate representative of China at the international body.

In 1993, Taiwan's government launched an unsuccessful campaign to reclaim the U.N. seat.

In 2007, during the administration of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), the government sought U.N. membership under the name Taiwan, but that campaign got nowhere.

Under the Kuomintang (KMT) administration from 2008-2016, the government did not apply to re-enter the U.N. under the Republic of China name or apply for new U.N. membership as Taiwan, deciding instead to focus on achieving more meaningful participation in U.N.-affiliated organizations.

Since coming to power in May 2016, the DPP administration of President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has adopted an approach similar to that of the previous KMT government, including asking Taiwan's diplomatic allies to speak at the U.N. General Assembly in support of more "meaningful participation" at the U.N. for Taiwan.

(By Joseph Yeh)

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