Dec 02, 2009

Taiwan: MEPs Push for COP15 Participation

Sample ImageTaipei gained entry to the World Health Organization Assembly in 2009, now Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) hope to see Taiwanese delegates at climate change talks in Copenhagen.


Below is an article published by

Charles Tannock, a British centre-right deputy, is among the deputies who support Taiwan's efforts to participate in the conference which starts on 7 December [2009].

Tannock, who chairs parliament's Taiwan friendship group, said Taipei is correct to seek not only meaningful but also high-profile participation in the meeting.

He cited the country's participation in the World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva in May [2009] as the example Taiwan wants to follow.

"There is no reason to exclude Taiwan from participating in meetings or organisations that are linked with climate change, information exchange and anti-natural disaster operations," said Tannock, who recently met senior Taiwan officials during a parliamentary delegation to the country.

Other MEPs, including former ALDE leader Graham Watson and Edward McMillan-Scott, a vice-president of parliament, also support Taiwan's application.

Taiwan was invited to attend the WHA for the first time earlier this year as an observer under the designation "Chinese Taipei" after 12 failed attempts.

The WHA invitation was widely seen as the result of improving relations across the Taiwan strait over the past year under Taiwan president Ma Ying-jeou's policy of engagement with China.

A Taiwan official said the designation of "Chinese Taipei" at the Copenhagen meeting would be acceptable, although the Republic of China or ROC (Taiwan) would be preferable.

COP15 meeting will decide on the future extent of reductions in greenhouse gas emissions by working out a new international climate change agreement before the Kyoto protocol expires in 2012.

Taiwan has given up its unsuccessful attempts since 1993 to join the UN, deciding this year instead to seek meaningful participation in other international organisations.

The Taiwan government has named the UN conference next month as a priority target.Participation, a Taiwan government spokesman said, means that a Taiwanese representative will attend COP15."I hope it will not be a case of just setting up a table or waving banners outside the venue to protest being excluded from it," he said.

Taiwan's overseas offices, especially its office in New York - which is also home to UN headquarters - have been asked to write letters to their host countries as well as the missions of UN members, to explain the "necessity" of Taiwan's meaningful participation at Copenhagen.

Several Taiwanese civic groups, including the Industrial Technology Research Institute in Hsinchu, have attended previous meetings of the UN framework convention on climate change as observers.