Taiwan pushes for endorsement of its bid to join U.N. agencies

Despite many failures, Taiwan's momentum has not changed

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday that it is still pushing for the endorsement of Taiwan's diplomatic allies of its efforts to participate in two United Nations specialized agencies.
Taiwan is seeking meaningful participation in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Joseph Y.L. Kuo, director-general of the MOFA's Department of Central and South American Affairs, said at a regular press briefing yesterday that Taiwan's embassies and representative offices abroad are working hard to encourage diplomatic allies to sign two position papers to be submitted to the ratifying countries of the UNFCCC and member countries of the ICAO.
"We have to maintain the momentum and the zeal, and continue to push (the bid)," Kuo said.
The MOFA announced Sept. 21 that Taiwan will strive for membership in U.N. specialized agencies, rather than direct participation in the U.N. as it had been pursuing in previous years.
The ministry called for the UNFCCC and ICAO to give favorable consideration to the needs of the Taiwan people and what they could contribute if admitted.
According to the MOFA, as of yesterday, 15 of Taiwan's 23 diplomatic allies had signed a position paper in support of Taiwan's bid to participate in the UNFCC, while 14 of them had expressed support in the case of the ICAO.
Asked whether Taiwan should be concerned about the fact that some of the allies have not come forward in support of its U.N. bid, Kuo said that it does not reflect any change in diplomatic relations between Taiwan and those allies, some of which have different political and economic concerns.
Panama, for example, has not endorsed Taiwan's U.N. bid for years, as it has said many times that while it maintains diplomatic relations with Taiwan, it continues to develop closer economic relations with China.
Taiwan has not been represented in the U.N. since 1971, when the Republic of China's seat was given to the People's Republic of China.
Since 1993, it has been trying to have the world body consider the issue of its representation, but has made little progress largely due to China's obstruction.
Taiwan's allies and supporters have been trying to get the General Assembly to list Taiwan's application for admission on the U.N. agenda, but Beijing's claim that Taiwan is part of China has prevailed.
This year, Taiwan has come up with a more flexible and pragmatic approach that it hopes will allow it to better negotiate the complex situation.