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Eleven of Taiwan's allies speak up at UN debate: MOFA

Most of Taiwan's allies voiced support at UN General Assembly with exception of Honduras, Paraguay,Vatican and Nicaragua

File photo

File photo (CNA photo)

Representatives from four of Taiwan's diplomatic allies spoke out for the country at the General Debate of the United Nations General Assembly in New York Saturday, bringing the number of Taiwan's diplomatic allies that have done so to 11, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said Sunday.

The general debate of the 74th session of the U.N. General Assembly began Sept. 24 and is scheduled to conclude Sept. 30. Senior officials from all of Taiwan's 15 allies had completed their respective addresses Saturday.

During the fifth day of the general debate, senior officials from the four countries -- Tuvalu, the Marshall Islands, Belize and Haiti -- voiced their support for Taiwan's participation in U.N.-related events.

In his speech, Tuvalu Deputy Prime Minister Minute Taupo expressed gratitude toward worldwide assistance to his country in various fields, with Taiwan included on the list.

He said that "genuine and durable partnerships" are fundamental for the U.N. to achieve its Agenda 2030, as well as its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

"However, the exclusion of a genuine and durable partner like Taiwan from the U.N. denies its 23 million people of their fundamental rights to participate, benefit and contribute to the U.N. SDGs," he said.

Describing Taiwan as a "responsible and able partner to Tuvalu and many countries around the world," Taiwan will be able to do more if it is invited into the U.N., he said.

"Tuvalu strongly supports the ROC's readmission into the U.N. as a founding member, and its active participation in U.N. specialized agencies," he added.

Marshall Islands Foreign Minister John Silk reaffirmed the Pacific country's close ties with Taiwan, saying that the "lasting friendship between our free and democratic nations is truly unstoppable."

He said that Taiwan should play a role in the U.N. system, including meaningful participation in relevant specialized agencies and mechanisms.

"If we as a world and the U.N. are truly serious that 'no one is left behind,' we would recognize participation and assistance from all relevant sources, and thus appropriately recognize Taiwan's partnership and engagement with my own nation and others," he said.

Haiti Foreign Minister Bocchit Edmond called on fellow U.N. members to pay closer attention to all forms of inequality around the globe, saying that the promotion of inclusion should be a major requirement in meeting the U.N. Agenda 2030 and its SDGs.

"It is with this in mind that the Republic of Haiti wishes greater consideration to be given to the repeated demands of the Republic of China (Taiwan) for participation in the activities of the U.N. system," he added.

Belize Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington criticized the U.N.'s exclusion of Taiwan in his address.

"This is, in our view, a travesty of justice for this institution to rely doggedly and erroneously on a 1971 resolution to block Taiwan's participation in any of its bodies," he said.

Belize calls upon the U.N. to end the "political and humanitarian embargo against the people of Taiwan," he added.

The resolution Elrington refers to is the U.N. General Assembly resolution 2758.

Passed Oct. 25, 1971 during the 26th session of the U.N. General Assembly, the resolution recognized the People's Republic of China (PRC) as "the only legitimate representative of China to the United Nations."

According to MOFA, the 11 allies that have spoken up for Taiwan during this year's U.N. session are eSwatini, Palau, Guatemala, Nauru, Saint Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Tuvalu, Marshall Islands, Belize and Haiti.

The four allies that did not do so during their respective addresses in the general debate are Honduras, Paraguay, the Vatican and Nicaragua.

Among the four, Taiwan's only diplomatic ally in Europe, the Holy See, is not a member of the U.N. but a permanent observer state that rarely speaks of political issues in the general debate.

Also, both Honduras and Paraguay sent letters to U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in support of Taiwan's request to play a more active role in the international organization, before the U.N. General Assembly kicked off last week.

This makes Nicaragua the only diplomatic ally that did not publicly support Taiwan during the general debate or write a letter this year.

Asked to comment, MOFA spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) told CNA that Nicaragua decided this year to focus on issues related to their internal affairs.

The Central American ally has previously spoken up for Taiwan in various international occasions, showing that bilateral ties remain strong and stable, she added.