UN rejects Taiwan’s request to join its agencies

September 18th, 2008 - 12:14 pm ICT by IANS  

New York/Taipei, Sep 18 (DPA) A committee of the United Nations General Assembly has tossed out Taiwan’s request to join UN specialized agencies, like the World Health Organization (WHO), even though the Taipei government has downgraded its global campaign to return to the world body.The decision by the General Committee was made Wednesday during a closed-door session to adopt the agenda of debate for the 192-nation assembly, which opened its 63rd session Tuesday.

The General Committee quickly adopted more than 160 items of discussion on the agenda and decided not to include Taiwan’s request, spokesman Enrique Yeves said.

Since 1993, Taiwan has applied each year to be considered for UN membership. But this year, with a new China-friendly government headed by President Ma Ying-jeou, Taiwan sought only to join WHO in Geneva and relinquished its long-standing quest for full UN membership in a major concession to the communist regime in Beijing.

Ma’s gamble appeared to have failed. China did not take the bait and did not even address the General Committee’s meeting. In past years, Chinese delegates made lengthy speeches to convince the committee to keep Taiwan out of the UN system.

Taiwan was one of 50 founders of the United Nations in 1945 and held the seats in the assembly and UN Security Council until it was ousted by the assembly in 1971 in favour of the China.

This year, Taiwan’s request to be considered a member of WHO was signed by 16 UN members, all of them small and impoverished nations, including Burkina Faso and Nicaragua, with diplomatic ties with Taiwan. Taiwan is recognized by a total of 23 countries.

In its request to join UN specialized agencies, Taiwan said its population of 23 million have the fundamental right to take part and contribute to activities of those agencies.

“As Taiwan cannot attend the conferences, mechanism and activities of the specialized agencies, the welfare of its people as well as the interests of all humankind have been seriously jeopardized,” Taiwan said.

It said its relationship with mainland China could improve if it is a part of international organizations.

Taiwan has been the seat of the Republic of China (ROC) since 1949, when the ROC government lost the Chinese Civil War and fled to Taiwan to set up its government-in-exile.

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