UN ban on Taiwan journalists is ‘unacceptable discrimination’: RSF

Reporters Without Borders calls on UN to accredit Taiwanese journalists

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U.N. General Assembly on Sept. 18.

U.N. General Assembly on Sept. 18. (By Associated Press)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Reporters Without Borders (RSF) called on the United Nations (U.N.) to allow Taiwanese journalists to attend and cover its events, in a statement published on Sept. 18.

Secretary-general of RSF, Christophe Deloire, said the U.N. ban is discriminatory and contradicts the right to free information enshrined in the U.N.'s Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Recent years have seen China pressure the U.N. to restrict media accreditation to Taiwanese journalists on the basis of their passports, while U.N. policy states that Taiwanese journalists who present Taiwanese identity papers will not be admitted entry to the U.N. and its events.

The statement was published on the opening day of the 73rd session of the U.N. General Assembly, the intergovernmental organization's main representative and policy-making body. The 73rd session will run from Sept. 18 to Sept. 25 in New York, U.S.

"Over the past years, China has been lobbying in every possible way to isolate Taiwan on the international stage, including preventing its journalists from doing their job" said the statement.

Deloire called on the U.N. to "to accredit all journalists of good faith, regardless of their nationality or the place of origin of their media."

Taiwanese journalists have been banned from attending the World Health Assembly for the past four years, and were previously banned by other U.N. agencies, the statement said.

RSF singled out the General Assembly and World Health Assembly as significant events which should include Taiwan’s media.

According to RSF's World Press Freedom Index, Taiwan is ranked best in Asia, and 42nd overall. China meanwhile is ranked 176th out of 180.

Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA, 外交部) is currently lobbying its friends to write to U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to advocate for Taiwan's participation in the world assembly, reported CNA.