Sep 23, 2008

Taiwan: EU Supports Involvement in World Agencies

Sample ImageEU foreign ministers have expressed support for Taiwanese participation in UN agencies.

Below is an article published by EU :

Taiwan has welcomed an expression of support from EU foreign ministers for the island’s involvement in international agencies.

The move comes in the wake of Taiwan’s latest failure in its bid to have the UN address its participation in UN agencies.

However, Michael Ying-mao Kau, Taiwan’s representative to the EU and Belgium, said a statement issued by EU member states gave his country fresh hope that future bids will be more successful.

The council statement, issued on Friday [19 September 2008], said, “[The EU] reiterates its support to Taiwan’s participation in specialised multilateral fora, especially where Taiwan’s participation is important to the EU and global interests, and it encourages both sides [of the Taiwan strait] to solve this issue through dialogue.”

In particular, the EU said it hopes Taiwan and China can take “concrete” steps through dialogue to make possible Taiwan’s “meaningful participation” in the implementation of the international health regulations.

Kau said EU support for Taiwan’s participation in “specialised multilateral fora” is not only positive but also significant because it means EU support for Taiwan is not limited to its participation in UN activities.

“This shows the EU is in favour of Taiwan’s meaningful participation in a broader sense in international activities,” according to Kau.

Taiwan’s foreign affairs ministry said that EU support offered to Taiwan demonstrates that the “moderate and pragmatic” approach adopted by Taiwan this year in promoting its UN bid had won the approval of the respective governments.

The EU, however, has reiterated its ‘One China’ policy, saying that it does not support membership for Taiwan in international organisations that require statehood.

The EU move follows a similar one by the US, which has also reiterated its support for Taiwan’s involvement in UN agencies, including in the World Health Organization.

Taiwan has not been represented in the UN since 1971, when the Republic of China's seat was given to the People's Republic of China, and it has tried unsuccessfully to have the world body consider the issue of its representation since 1993.