September 21, 2007

Taiwan turned down again at UN

Despite backing by more than 16 countries around the world, including St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Taiwan’s bid to join the United Nations (UN), has been turned down for the 15th time.{{more}}

A key UN committee on Tuesday rejected a proposal from Taiwan’s allies to put its bid on the agenda of the General Assembly, meeting now in New York.

But this rejection has not stopped the Chen Shui-bian led Government from continuing its fight to become a member of the international body, as the government is planning a referendum for March 2008.

UN secretary General Ban Ki-moon, said it was legally impossible to consider Taiwan’s membership, because of the 1971 General Assembly resolution that expelled the representatives of nationalist China.

Taiwan and mainland China split in 1949 amid civil war, where Taiwan became the stronghold of the nationalists and the mainland became the communist People’s Republic of China.

This is the first time that Taiwan applied for membership without using the name Republic of China, as a result of a poll conducted in April 2007, which saw 77% of the respondents in support of the use of the name Taiwan when applying for membership in international organizations.

The planned referendum intends to request that Taiwan allies co-sponsor a proposal demanding the country’s application be done in accordance to the UN charter.

A communiqué issued last week by the local Taiwanese embassy stated that Taiwan needs to become a member of the UN, since there is so much the 23 million strong democratic nation has to offer.

According to the release, excluding Taiwan from the United Nations not only deprives the country the right to participate in, and contribute to the work of the UN and its specialized agencies, but also infringes on the basic human rights of its population.

It said that applying for UN membership under the name Taiwan does not change its status quo, but since the international community often refers to them as Taiwan, its application still conforms to international standards.

Taiwanese ambassador to St. Vincent and the Grenadines Jack Chen said earlier this week, that his country is ready and willing to participating in the international community. (JJ)