Oct 13, 2009

Taiwan: Watson Backs Calls for Taiwan to be Allowed to Join UN Agencies

Active ImageALDE Member of the European Parliament Graham Watson has endorsed calls for Taiwan to be allowed to take part in specialised agencies of the UN.
Below is an article published by The Parliament:

The former group leader told this website that he "wholeheartedly" backed a growing campaign for the island to join agencies such as theWorld Meteorological Organisation.

"Given that Taiwan is still recovering from a devastating typhoon then, yes, of course it should be allowed to participate in organisations like this," he told this website.

Meanwhile, the EU´s recent reiteration of support for Taiwan's "meaningful participation" in international organisations "demonstrates its goodwill toward the country," says Taiwan´s Representative to the EU, Shen Lyushun.

He said,"In particular, it would greatly improve Taiwan's ability to deal with natural disasters if the country were to be admitted to the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO)."

In a parliament debate on 17  September pro-Taiwan members of parliament proposed that Taiwan - which experienced the worst flooding in 50 years during Typhoon Morakot in August - should be allowed to take part in the WMO to enhance the country's preparedness for extreme climate change as a result of global warming.

In response to the proposal, EU commissioner Meglena Kuneva said it remains the EU´s policy to support Taiwan's "meaningful participation" in international organisations under "appropriate circumstances."

Kuneva also promised that the EU will consider Taiwan's request to be included in the EU´s visa waiver programme.

Taiwan has not been represented at the United Nations since 1971, when the Republic of China's seat was given to the People's Republic of China.

Since 1993, Taiwan has been trying - unsuccessfully, due to Beijing's objections - to have the UN consider the issue of its representation.

In 2008, the country shifted its strategy to promoting a bid to "participate meaningfully in the activities of specialised UN agencies.

Following Taiwan's success in its bid to attend the World Health Assembly - the World Health Organisation's decision-making arm - as an observer for the first time in May this year, the Taiwan government has recently announced that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) will be the country's next targets for such "meaningful participation."