71st UN General Assembly General Debate

Taiwan has been excluded from the United Nations since 1971. But discontent is mounting, and despite it being fairly close to impossible that Taiwan will actually be included, we press on. We are still lucky that we have some friends that are willing to speak up for us, but nothing has changed. Here are just some tidbits.

From Baron Divavesi Waqa, President of Nauru:

I would like to address the situation of Nauru’s close friend, Taiwan. According to the UN Charter, our mission here is to “reaffirm faith in the fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small.”

Mr. President, therefore, the twenty three million people of the Republic of China should enjoy these same fundamental rights. Taiwan has contributed to the World Health Assembly (WHA) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). They are promoting the Sustainable Development Goals domestically and internationally, and they are helping lead the way to a low-carbon economy.

Taiwan is a key stakeholder in the international community and we should make efforts to regularize their participation throughout the UN system so that we can all benefit from their substantial contributions.

From Eladio Ramón Loizaga Lezcano, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Paraguay:

Nuestro Gobiemo, fundado en las tradicionales relaciones de amistad y cooperación que lo unen con la República de China (Taiwán), hace un llamado para que tenga mayor presencia en las agencias y organismos especializados del sistema de las Naciones Unidas, y aporte así su experiencia, destacando sus constantes esfuerzos para lograr una convivencia pacifica y armónica en el seno de la comunidad internacional.

[Our Government, founded on the traditional relations of friendship and cooperation with the Republic of China (Taiwan), appeals for it to have a better presence in the agencies and specialized organisations of the United Nation system, and to contribute its experience that highlight its continuing efforts to achieve a peaceful and harmonious coexistence within the international community.]

From Moises Omar Halleslevens Acevedo, Vice-President of Nicaragua:

Aprovechamos para reiterar nuestro apoyo a las justas aspiraciones de China-Taiwán para una mayor participación en Agencias Especializadas de ONU en conformidad con los requisitos y necesidades de este Pueblo de 23 millones de habitantes que no debe ser excluido de dichos Organismos.

[We would like to take this opportunity to reiterate our support for the just aspirations of China-Taiwan for a greater participation in UN Specialized Agencies, in accordance with the requirements and necessities of this Peoples of 23 million inhabitants, which should not be excluded from aforementioned Organisms.]

From Manasseh Sogavare, Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands:

Solomon Islands recognises the fundamental right of Taiwan 23 million people to participate meaningfully in the United Nations specialised bodies. Solomon Islands find Taiwan’s limited and restricted participation with the World Health Organisation system regrettable, especially at a time when the spread of infectious diseases is impacting our children and need everyone to assist. We call for Taiwan’s open and free access to all World Health Organisation’s meetings. Similarly, Taiwan remains unjustly on the fringes of ICAO’s decision making processes, Taiwan manages more than a million flights or 58 million passengers through Taipei Flight Information Region. We also call for Taiwan’s predictable and certain participation in ICAO gatherings.

There has always been two political systems along the Taiwan Strait, the reality is, the world works with one and turns a blind eye to the other. Implementation of the 2030 Agenda calls for all hands on deck, let us put the interest of humanity and work with all including Taiwan.

From Enele Sosene Sopoaga, Prime Minister of Tuvalu:

We are also concerned with the continuing denial of the rights of the 23 million of the Republic of China on Taiwan to be re-admitted as UN Member, and to participate in the work of the United Nations and its agencies. We must recognize Taiwan is a vibrant democracy having recently elected and inaugurated her new President, and its genuine efforts in supporting various developmental and humanitarian undertakings in Tuvalu and the world at large. As we roll out the implementation of the SDGs, Taiwan’s direct and indirect support will greatly help in leveraging existing partnerships and resource mobilizations.

From Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines:

2016 has marked the inauguration of a new, democratically-elected President in the Republic of China (Taiwan). [We applaud not only the peaceful transfer of power but President Tsai Ing-wen’s commitment to making the will of the Taiwanese people the dominant force in shaping Taiwan’s future,] The Government of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines reaffirms our continued solidarity with the aspirations of the  Taiwanese government and people, as they have stood with us throughout our post-independence development journey. We decry the myopia of a body that would pretend 24 million people don’t exist, or one that forces a false choice between two magnificent exemplars of the noble Chinese civilization. Such behavior only marginalizes a vibrant people and creates space for parasitic opportunists to prostitute principle for personal gain. We must recognize Taiwan’s exemplary global citizenship and commitment to development worldwide. It is high time that Taiwan be allowed to participate meaningfully in all of the Specialized Bodies and programmes of the United Nations. There is absolutely no compelling argument to the contrary.

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