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NGO launches petition to back Taiwan U.N. bid

NGO launches petition to back Taiwan U.N. bid

A Brussels-based non-governmental organization launched an online petition on its Web site yesterday to gather support for Taiwan's right to apply for United Nations membership.
The objective is to allow Taiwan to present its application to the General Assembly of the United Nations, which will meet on September 18 in New York, Human Rights Without Frontiers International (HRWF), disclosed.
"At this stage of the procedure, Taiwan's application has been nipped in the bud by the Secretary General of the U.N., who has sent it back to Taiwan's president," the petition read.
The organizer said that in addition to the Internet petition, the organization's director had written an open letter to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon the same day, detailing why Taiwan is eligible to file the application to become a member of the major global political body.
HRWF Director Willy Fautre argued that "Taiwan has all the qualifications to apply for U.N. membership as laid out in the 'Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States'," which includes a clause that would define the area of Taiwan as not only a large enough territory to qualify for U.N. membership, but would also rank it in the top half of all 198 current members.
Citing the convention, Fautre said that Taiwan has a permanent population of 23 million, more than that of many European member states in the U.N.
The people on the island also have a democratically elected government in a multi-party system that is capable of having relations with other states, the director said in the letter.
Moreover, Fautre reminded Ban that Taiwan currently ranks as the world's 18th largest economy and the 16th largest trading nation, and stands as one of the top 20 sources of foreign investment.
He noted that keeping Taiwan outside the U.N. has not only deprived the country of its right to participate in and contribute to the work of the U.N., but also "infringes upon the basic human rights of the 23 million people of Taiwan."
Fautre urged Ban to process Taiwan's application to the U.N. General Assembly in accordance with the body's relevant rules of procedure so that the assembly could examine the application before its session, due to take place on September 18.
The organization enclosed five related news articles and Freedom House's "2007 Country Report" in the online petition as references for Internet users.
The news reports included an interview with Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Yang Tzu-pao (楊子葆) by The Parliament Magazine that covers European politics and policy on July 25. In the interview, Yang urged the EU to support Taiwan's democracy.
A BBC World Service radio interview with Michael Kau (高英茂), Taiwan's envoy to the EU and Belgium, was also included in the five articles. Kau told the BBC that for the sake of domestic politics and the Taiwan people's political identity, it is important for Taiwan to change its name to apply for U.N. membership. "But a name change for the U.N. application is a technical issue," he said.
Kau said that if the General Assembly or the Security Council suggests that Taiwan adopt a constitutional name, he would consider it "a minor, technical point" and said that "Taiwan can be flexible."


Updated : 2021-05-10 02:00 GMT+08:00