Taiwan seeks greater involvement in UN agencies

Taiwan hopes to galvanize support among its diplomatic allies for a bid to gain observer status in U.N. specialized agencies when the organization hosts its annual General Assembly Sept. 18 in New York.

“Promoting Taiwan’s participation in the International Civil Aviation Organization and United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change as an observer has been an ongoing effort by the ROC government,” Kelly Hsieh, director-general of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Department of International Organizations, said in a news conference Aug. 21.

“Over the past four years, Taiwan’s rational and pragmatic efforts to take part in U.N. agencies have received support and recognition from the international community,” Hsieh pointed out. “We have been invited to attend the World Health Assembly as an observer four times, while the European Parliament and U.S. Congress have backed Taiwan’s meaningful participation in major international organizations.

“We will continue to uphold the flexible diplomacy policy, adopting rational and pragmatic approaches, and hope that through our allies, the international community will see how the ROC is assisting its friends in achieving the U.N.’s eight Millennium Development Goals, as well as the many other contributions the nation can make,” Hsieh stressed.

The MDGs were agreed on by U.N. members and international organizations in 2000. They aim to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, achieve universal primary education, promote gender equality and empower women, reduce child mortality, improve maternal health, combat HIV, AIDS, malaria and other diseases, ensure environmental sustainability, and develop a global partnership for development by 2015, according to the U.N. website.

Taiwan has not been represented at the U.N. since walking out of the world body in 1971 in anticipation of a General Assembly vote to give the seat to mainland China. Over the past two decades, it has made continual efforts to regain a presence in the organization.

The 67th Session of the U.N. General Assembly will see heads of state and high-level officials from the U.N.’s 193 members discuss various issues of global concern.

Grace Kuo
Taiwan Today