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French Senate backs Taiwan's entry in international organizations

French resolution unanimously calls for Taiwan's participation in WHO, Interpol, ICAO, and UNFCCC

French Senate. 

French Senate.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — France's Senate unanimously passed a resolution on Thursday (May 6) that called for Taiwan's participation in the World Health Organization (WHO) and three other major international organizations.

The Senate passed the resolution, "Taiwan's participation in international organizations," with a vote of 304 to 0, and 19 abstentions. The resolution called for the participation of Taiwan in the WHO, International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol), International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), and the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The resolution was proposed by French senators Joel Guerriau and Alain Richard, both of whom are members of the France-Taiwan Inter-Parliamentary Amity Association. Richard recently received a letter from Chinese Ambassador to France Lu Shaye (盧沙野) calling on him to cancel a planned visit to Taiwan claiming it would "affect the status quo between Taipei and Beijing."

The legislation lauded the "Taiwan model" of pandemic management, which started with early detection of the threat posed by COVID-19. It noted that Taiwan's warnings of the impending pandemic to the WHO on Dec. 31, 2019, went unheeded.

The resolution's authors noted the WHO did not characterize the situation as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) until a month later on Jan. 30. The senators asserted the "sidelining of Taiwan" from the deliberations and actions by the WHO "thus harms the interests of the international community."

Senators pointed out that all four organizations include statutes that offer "entities without state status" the possibility of participation, so long as it does not infringe on the rights of member states. They argued that based on these statutes and Taiwan's "peaceful and cooperative attitude" in the global arena and its pluralist democratic society, it should be allowed to participate in these organizations, and in particular, the WHO's World Health Assembly.

In response to the passage of the resolution, Taiwan's Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) took to Twitter on Friday morning (May 7) to thank the French Senate for approving the bill calling for Taiwan's participation in the four major international organizations.