Canada needs to invite Taiwan to ICAO meeting: former NATO chief

Taiwan wants to contribute and help find solutions: Rasmussen

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Anders Fogh Rasmussen during his NATO days.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen during his NATO days. (By Associated Press)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Taiwan can contribute to global problem-solving, so it needs to be invited to major international events, such as the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) meeting in Canada next week, former NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen wrote Friday (September 20).

Rasmussen, a former center-right prime minister of Denmark, made the remarks in an opinion piece printed in the Toronto Globe and Mail titled “Canada’s guest list to a major aviation conference needs to fly in the face of China.”

In the article, he argues that in an age of isolationism, the global community should work more closely with countries wanting to play a constructive international role, such as Taiwan.

“Universality is a defining principle of the UN. And yet Taiwan is denied the simple right to sit, even as an observer, in its forums,” Rasmussen notes.

He also identifies climate change and healthcare as areas where Taiwan could play a valuable role.

When the ICAO convenes for its 11-day meeting in Montreal, Canada, on September 24, founding member Taiwan should be allowed to attend, as it serves 1.7 million flights a year, the former NATO chief notes.

China should not veto Taiwan’s attendance, as the island “is not asking for UN agencies to take a side on China’s territorial claims; they are merely asking to be invited as observers in order to contribute to global problem-solving,” Rasmussen argues.

He called on democracies to stand up and fight back against “strong, selfish powers” and to begin doing that by inviting Taiwan to the ICAO event.