Alexa
  • Directory of Taiwan

MOFA regrets Taiwan's barring from digital library inauguration

MOFA regrets Taiwan's barring from digital library inauguration

Taipei, April 22 (CNA) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) expressed regret Wednesday over a Taiwanese representative being prevented from entering the venue of a ceremony to mark the inauguration of the World Digital Library (WDL) , an international cooperation project that involves Taiwan's participation.
MOFA spokesman Henry Chen expressed the regret in response to media inquiries over the absence of Karl Min Ku, director-general of the National Central Library of Taiwan, at the event that took place a day earlier at United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) headquarters in Paris.
Chen said the ministry will instruct its representative office in France to lodge a protest at UNESCO and to seek fair treatment for Taiwan in non-political international activities.
Chen said the ministry found out that Ku was blocked from entering UNESCO headquarters because of his Republic of China passport, which he said was probably because Taiwan is not a member of the United Nations.
He said the official MOFA view is that the UNESCO move of not allowing an ROC passport-holder to enter its building was "not only unreasonable but also unfair, " as well as violating international practice, because the passport is recognized by most nations around the world as a valid travel document.
He further said the ministry deeply regrets that Taiwanese citizens are discriminated against even in non-political international activities.
The MOFA will continue to make Taiwan's stance known to the U.N.
through the various channels at its disposal, seeking respect for the people of Taiwan and protection of their rights to participate in international activities, Chen added.
Taiwan's national library is one of 32 libraries in 19 countries that are participating in the WDL project, which was formed based on the idea of a joint establishment for the sharing of resources that was first put forward by U.S. Librarian of Congress James H.
Billington in 2005.
(By Elizabeth Hsu)