Marshall Islands leader urges U.N. to end 'shameful silence' in excluding Taiwan

09/23/2021 02:24 PM
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President of the Marshall Islands David Kabua. Screenshot taken from the United Nations
President of the Marshall Islands David Kabua. Screenshot taken from the United Nations' YouTube video

New York, Sept. 22 (CNA) The president of the Marshall Islands David Kabua on Wednesday urged the United Nations to put an end to the "shameful silence" targeting Taiwan in the U.N. system, on the second day of the General Debate of the U.N. General Assembly's 76th session in New York.

In his 15-minute pre-recorded address, Kabua said if the world wants to achieve a resilient recovery from the devastating COVID-19 pandemic, collective action from all countries, stakeholders and peoples, needs to be taken.

"The democratic government of Taiwan should be allowed to participate in an equal and dignified manner within the U.N. system, including the WHO, ICAO and the UNFCCC, as well as activities related to the SDGs," he said.

He pointed out, however, that the U.N. has repeatedly cited the General Assembly resolution 2758 to prevent Taiwan to be included in its system.

"There is absolutely nothing in General Assembly resolution 2758 which prevents this inclusive approach, and this resolution affords nothing to hide behind, as it expresses no position on Taiwan," he added.

"As people-centric institution, the U.N. cannot ignore the Taiwanese people or continue to use their nationality to exclude them from attending public meetings or public tours at its headquarters. The shameful silence must end," the president stressed.

On Oct. 25, 1971, the U.N. General Assembly passed U.N. Resolution 2758, which stated that the People's Republic of China is the only legitimate representative of China to the U.N., instead of the Republic of China, Taiwan's official name.

Taiwan's government has over the years insisted that resolution 2758 only addresses the right to represent China and does not refer to Taiwan as part of China, nor authorize the People's Republic of China to represent Taiwan in the U.N. system.

Meanwhile, in his address on the same occasion, Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei Falla briefly mentioned Taiwan by saying that Guatemala believes Taiwan can provide "experience, capacities and knowledge" for the strengthening of multilateralism, given the challenges the world is facing.

The two allies' presidents were among the three leaders of Taiwan's 15 diplomatic allies that spoke during Wednesday's General Debate.

President Juan Orlando Hernández of Honduras did not mention Taiwan in his Wednesday address at the U.N., marking the sixth consecutive year that the Central American ally did not speak up on behalf of Taiwan during the General Debate.

Instead, Honduras annually sends a letter to the U.N. secretary-general to support Taiwan's participation in the U.N. system.

Taiwan's Pacific ally Nauru is expected to speak at Thursday's General Debate.

Taiwan, officially called the Republic of China, left the U.N. in 1971 when the People's Republic of China took its place, and has since been excluded from participation in the General Assembly and the U.N.'s special agencies.

(By Izzy Yin and Joseph Yeh)

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Allies speak out for Taiwan at U.N. General Assembly:

-Eswatini, Haiti, St. Lucia, Eswatini, Tuvalu, St. Vincent and the Grenadines voice support for Taiwan

-Paraguay, Belize, and Saint Kitts and Nevis urge Taiwan's inclusion in U.N. system

-Nauru president touts Taiwan's global record at U.N. General Assembly

-Palau president calls on U.N. to include Taiwan

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