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5 allies of Taiwan speak up for it at UN General Assembly

Leaders of St. Vincent, Haiti, Eswatini, St. Lucia, Tuvalu urge member states to include Taiwan in UN system

File: U.N. Headquarters in New York. 

File: U.N. Headquarters in New York.  (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — On the fifth day of the 76th United Nations General Assembly General Debate, the heads of five of Taiwan's diplomatic allies gave pre-recorded speeches in which they made the case for the East Asian country's participation in the U.N. and its agencies.

In his remarks on Saturday (Sept. 25), Haiti's acting Prime Minister Ariel Henry invited member states to "consider the aspirations of the Republic of China, Taiwan," which "can play a non-negligible role" in U.N. initiatives aimed at maintaining peace and international security as well as cooperation and multilateral development.

Pointing out that the U.N. was "established to serve the public interest of all peoples," Tuvalu Prime Minister Kausea Natano called for the global body to recognize the rights of the Taiwanese people. He lamented the fact that Taiwanese are denied access to U.N. grounds "simply because the U.N. fails to recognize (Taiwan) passports, which are in fact accepted by almost every country in the world, and similarly condemned the exclusion of Taiwanese media from U.N. events.

The prime minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Ralph Gonsalves, said it is "high time" the U.N.'s exclusion of Taiwan comes to an end. "Surely, the world will benefit from Taiwan’s inclusion in global bodies such as the World Health Assembly, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the International Civil Aviation Organization, and INTERPOL," he stated, adding that international collaboration on climate change, health, crime, and other matters necessitates an "all hands on deck" approach.

Calling Taiwan a "relatively small but legitimate political expression of the magnificent Chinese civilization," the Caribbean leader said the "thriving democracy" and "economic miracle" has the right to request to participate in a meaningful way.

Saint Lucia Prime Minister Philip Joseph Pierre likewise pressed member states to include Taiwan as a partner in the "global decision-making process."

In addition to urging for a role for Taiwan in the World Health Organization, the International Civil Aviation Authority, and other relevant bodies, Eswatini Prime Minister Cleopas Dlamini called the continued exclusion of the country and the "discrimination of its citizens" a "gross violation" of the U.N. Charter. He cited the assistance Taiwan has provided to the African kingdom in agriculture, education, ICT, and healthcare as well as the expertise and personal protective equipment it has donated in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dlamini further stated that "Eswatini can attest to the fact that Taiwan is an indispensable partner and would, if given an opportunity, play a meaningful role in the global body."