Taiwan appreciates European Union's goodwill: official

Berlin, Oct. 1 (CNA) The European Union's recent reiteration of support for Taiwan's "meaningful participation" in international organizations demonstrates the organization's goodwill toward the country, Republic of China Representative to the European Union Shen Lyushun said in a phone call from Brussels Thursday.
In particular, it would greatly improve Taiwan's ability to deal with natural disasters if the country were to be admitted to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) , Shen told a CNA reporter based in Berlin.
In a European Parliament session held Sept. 17, pro-Taiwan members of parliament proposed that Taiwan -- which experienced the worst flooding in 50 years during Typhoon Morakot in August -- should be allowed to take part in the WMO to enhance the country's preparedness for extreme climate change as a result of global warming.
In response to the proposal, European Commission Commissioner Meglena Kuneva said it remains the European Union's policy to support Taiwan's "meaningful participation" in international organizations under "appropriate circumstances." Kuneva also promised that the European Union will consider Taiwan's request to be included in the European Union's visa waiver program.
Taiwan has not been represented at the United Nations since 1971, when the Republic of China's seat was given to the People's Republic of China.
Since 1993, Taiwan has been trying -- unsuccessfully, due to Beijing's objections -- to have the United Nations consider the issue of its representation.
In 2008, the country shifted its strategy to promoting a bid to "participate meaningfully in the activities of specialized U.N.
agencies, " in line with President Ma Ying-jeou's "modus vivendi" diplomatic strategy that favors a moderate and pragmatic approach.
Following Taiwan's success in its bid to attend the World Health Assembly -- the World Health Organization's decision-making arm -- as an observer for the first time in May this year, the government has recently announced that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) will be the country's next targets for such "meaningful participation." Explaining Taiwan's UNFCCC bid during a Cabinet meeting a day earlier, Premier Wu Den-yih said the country's participation in the UNFCCC and the WMO is crucial to strengthening its access to advanced climate technology and data.
(By Lin Yu-li and Y.F. Low)