12 allies speak up for Taiwan in U.N. debate

09/30/2020 12:29 PM
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Image taken from facebook.com/unitednations
Image taken from facebook.com/unitednations

New York, Sept. 29 (CNA) Twelve of Taiwan's 15 diplomatic allies voiced support during the general debate of the 75th U.N. General Assembly for Taiwan's bid to participate in the United Nations system.

Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington of Belize and Foreign Minister Denis Moncada Colindres of Nicaragua, both spoke up for Taiwan on Tuesday, the last day of the annual debate that began on Sept. 22.

Belize stands by the conviction that all countries are sovereign equals, Elrington said, stressing that all peoples without exception must benefit from the promise of the U.N. Charter and the rights included in it, including the right to self-determination.

"This right to self-determination is also applicable to the people of the Republic of China (Taiwan) and their continued exclusion from the U.N. and its institutions is contrary to the goals of the organization," Elrington said.

"Belize calls for the full participation of Taiwan in the U.N. system," he said, emphasizing that Taiwan possesses the capacity to do so as exemplified by its successful and effective approach to COVID-19 and its outreach to allied and other countries.

Taiwan left the U.N. in 1971 when China took its place, and has since been excluded from its special agencies, such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

Speaking in Spanish, Colindres said Taiwan must be allowed to participate in the U.N. system and meetings for humanitarian reasons and in view of the principle of universality.

This marked the first time since 2017 that Nicaragua's representative spoke up for Taiwan in the U.N.'s general debate.

Including the two speeches on the final day of the general debate, 12 of Taiwan's 15 diplomatic allies spoke up on Taiwan's behalf, one more than last year.

The three allies that did not mention Taiwan during this year's debate were Guatemala, Honduras and the Vatican.

All of Taiwan's allies, however, except for the Vatican, which is a non-secular state, have written letters to U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres this year in support of Taiwan, said Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Joanne Ou.

According to Ou, 10 countries -- Belize, Eswatini, Haiti, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Tuvalu -- signed a joint letter to Guterres.

But the letter has yet to be delivered due to the stringent COVID-19 prevention measures within the U.N., she said.

Four other countries -- Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Paraguay -- have written to Guterres individually, Ou said.

Ou thanked the 14 countries for showing concrete support for Taiwan in its bid to participate in the U.N.

(By Ozzy Yin and Emerson Lim)


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