TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Campaigners for Taiwan’s engagement with the United Nations set out for the United States on Friday (Sept. 7) evening.
The group will meet with the U.S. authorities during a tour of New York, Washington, and Toronto, including members of Congress, officials from the Statement Department, Department of Defense, and even the White House, said Michael Tsai (蔡明憲), a former defense minister and currently the head of the Taiwan United Nations Alliance (TAIUNA), upon departure at the airport.
In addition to calling on the United Nation to recognize Taiwan, the group will also show Taiwan's solidarity with Hong Kong’s pro-democracy demonstrators, as well as raise concern over the case of Morrison Lee (李孟居), a Taiwanese citizen who went missing in China at the end of August, Tsai added.
The 74th UN General Assembly will open on Sept. 17 in New York. Over the years, TAIUNA members and Taiwanese overseas communities have organized marches as a means to advocate for Taiwan’s participation in the international organization, in cooperation with promotional campaigns launched by the Taiwan government.
The procession this year will be joined by 18 TAIUNA members with more than 1,000 Taiwanese in the U.S. also expected to participate, said Tsai. Human rights activists from Hong Kong, Tibet, Xinjiang, and China are also invited to the procession, he added.
Tseng Tsung-kai (曾琮愷), spokesperson for the campaign group, said the procession will march through the heart of New York, including Times Square, in hopes of drawing more attention to the Taiwan issue. Participants will assemble at Astor Place in lower Manhattan and march on China’s consulate general office in New York.
Chiu Chao-hang (丘兆航), a young representative, said that taking part in international organizations and the United Nations is a fundamental human right for the 23 million people in Taiwan. Taiwanese have made considerable contributions to the world community in areas such as economy and trade, health, human rights protection, and in safeguarding democracy, he added.
Tsai added that he hopes Taiwan’s legislature will pass a resolution in favor of Taiwan’s participation in the UN before the general assembly opens, and that President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) will take a similar stance with an international press conference.
On Friday (Sept, 6), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a promotional video in nine languages, as part of the campaign to call for Taiwan’s inclusion in the UN body. Taiwan left the UN in 1971, shortly after the intergovernmental organization recognized China, the People’s Republic of China, instead of the island nation.