Jan 04, 2010

Taiwan: Legislation Needed To Legitimize Taiwan's Antigua Pact Membership

Active ImageTaiwan's Legislative Yuan committee passed a proposal Monday paving the way for Taiwan's participation in the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) , or the Antigua Convention, as a full member under the title Chinese Taipei.

Below is an article published by Taiwan News:

The IATTC, which is an international grouping that deals with tuna fishing matters, comprises 16 member states, including: the United States, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala, El Salvador, Panama, Mexico, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela, Colombia, France, Spain, Japan, South Korea and Vanuatu.

Seven other countries and areas, including Taiwan, Canada, the European Union, China, Belize, the Cook Islands and Kiribati, have taken part in IATTC activities as "cooperating non-members." Taiwan, which has a major fishing industry, was allowed by the group to join the Antigua Convention as a full member during an IATTC meeting held in Antigua, Guatemala from June 24-27, 2003.

Member states and contracting parties also decided at the meeting that the IATTC will be regrouped and renamed as the Antigua Convention.

At the meeting, IATTC members agreed that Taiwan, as a "fishing entity, " should be admitted into the Antigua Convention as a full member with the name "Chinese Taipei" -- to be effective when the Antigua Convention takes effect, according to Vice Foreign Minister Lin Yung-lo.

A full membership at the Antigua Convention means that Taiwan will have the rights to vote and be elected as the convention's secretary-general, Lin said.

"In addition to having Taiwan's tuna fishing rights in the eastern Pacific Ocean area better protected, the membership will also mark a giant step in efforts to expand Taiwan's diplomatic fronts, " Lin added.

Following the legislative decision Monday, Lin offered his appreciation to the Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee of the Legislative Yuan for passing the proposal.

He also expressed hopes that the proposal can clear the legislative floor before August as the Antigua Convention is scheduled to become effective on Aug. 27 this year.