Taiwan: Committee recommends 158 Items for General Assembly Agenda
Nearly 120 speakers took the floor during a lengthy debate in the Assembly's General Committee on what the Gambian representative referred to as a perennial "burning question" - "the equitable representation of the 23 million people of the Republic of China (Taiwan) in the United Nations."
Introducing the item, Ambassador Crispin Grey-Johnson said the exclusion of a sovereign, peace-loving nation from the United Nations, "indicted us all both morally and politically." But today the Committee had a chance "to rectify one of history's greatest injustices...the 33-year exclusion of the people of Taiwan." In this era of threats and new challenges to the international system, leaving out any nation was foolhardy and counterproductive.
Expressing his strong opposition to the inclusion of the item, Ambassador Wang Guangya of China said the purpose of such an act was nothing more than to create "two Chinas," "one China, one Taiwan" in the United Nations. This "gross encroachment" not only ran counter to the purposes and principles of the Charter, but also "constituted a brazen challenge to the one-China principle widely recognized by the international community." An internal matter for China, that issue had been long solved in political, legal and procedural terms when in 1971 the United Nations adopted, by an overwhelming majority, resolution 2758, he said.
In other action today, the Committee postponed to the Assembly's sixtieth session the consideration of including the item "Question of the Comorian island of Mayotte," as well as consideration of the item "Question of the Malagasy islands of Glorieuses, Juan de Nova, Europa and Bassas da India."
Among the new items recommended by the Committee for inclusion were those related to observer status for the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the Southern African Development Community and the Collective Security Treaty Organization. Those items would be considered in plenary after the matter of their observer status had been taken up by the Sixth Committee, which deals with legal issues.
The Committee also decided to recommend that the Assembly conduct a plenary review next month of the progress made in the implementation of the recommendations of the Third United Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNISPACE III). As 2004 marks the tenth anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development, held in Cairo, the Committee also recommended that the Assembly devote one day during this session to commemorate that meeting.
The Committee also recommended that the Assembly's current session - its fifty-ninth - recess on 14 December and close on 14 September 2005.