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Allies call for Taiwan's U.N. inclusion during General Debate

09/20/2023 06:13 PM
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Paraguayan President Santiago Peña addresses the 78th Session of the U.N. General Assembly in New York, Sept. 19, 2023. Photo: Reuters / Eduardo Munoz
Paraguayan President Santiago Peña addresses the 78th Session of the U.N. General Assembly in New York, Sept. 19, 2023. Photo: Reuters / Eduardo Munoz

*The story was updated on Sept. 21 with comments from President Tsai Ing-wen.

Taipei, Sept. 20 (CNA) The leaders of three Republic of China (Taiwan) diplomatic allies, Guatemala, Paraguay and Palau, voiced support on Tuesday for the nation's inclusion in the United Nations on the first day of the General Debate held in New York.

In his address made during the 78th General Assembly, Surangel S. Whipps, Jr., President of Taiwan's Pacific ally Palau, said that his government urged the U.N. and all parties involved in the cross-Taiwan strait issues to exercise restraint and seek a peaceful resolution.

"The well-being and prosperity of nations and their economies are intrinsically linked to global peace and stability," he said.

He also expressed gratitude toward partner nations like Taiwan, the U.S., Japan and Australia for providing assistance and training opportunities to help his country's local population upskill.

"We also advocate for change regarding the Republic of China, Taiwan being unjustly excluded from UN systems, despite its remarkable leadership and innovative solutions," he said, adding that the organization should allow Taiwan to participate in crucially important agencies because the country had much to offer.

Citing the U.N. Charter that affirms the equal rights of all peoples and nations, the Palauan leader called on the international organization to uphold the vision by allowing Taiwan to participate and contribute.

Outgoing Guatemalan President Alejandro Eduardo Giammattei made a similar plea during his last address at the U.N. General Assembly's General Debate session.

He noted that the U.N. should recognize the importance of "inclusivity and universality."

"How can it be that in the 21st century, this organization has excluded a country like Taiwan? A country that contributes to science, technology, health and development; but yet we exclude its citizens from having a voice in this forum," he said.

He moved on to urge the U.N. "to exhaust all measures that are necessary to guarantee international peace and security in the Taiwan Strait."

Meanwhile, newly elected Paraguay Pesident Santiago Peña, who assumed the presidency in August, expressed his government's support of Taiwan as "an integral part of the United Nations system."

Also Tuesday, President of Czechia Petr Pavel, who is making his first appearance at the U.N. General Assembly on behalf of his country since assuming office in March, criticized the People's Republic of China (PRC) for its military maneuvers in the Taiwan Strait.

"We deplore China's military actions which have raised tensions in the Taiwan Strait as well as its unfriendly action against partners in the South China Sea. Any disputes or contentious issues must be solved peacefully. Any potential armed conflict in the region would have negative consequences on the whole world," Pavel said.

It marks the second consecutive year a government representative from Czechia has raised concerns at the U.N. General Assembly.

Last year a plea for cross-strait peace was made by Czechia Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky.

Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), via the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, expressed her gratitude on Thursday for the supportive words from the heads of states of Guatemala, Paraguay, Palau, and Belize at the U.N. General Assembly.

"Grateful to our friends for speaking up for #Taiwan at #UNGA78," Tsai wrote in a post, as she thanked them for “highlighting the importance of Taiwan’s international participation.”

In another post on the platform, Tsai expressed thanks to Pavel for voicing support for regional peace. “Taiwan will continue to work with our global partners & seek greater international participation to uphold peace & advance the @UN SDGs.”

The 78th General Assembly kicked off on Sept. 5. at the U.N. headquarters in New York. The General Debate will be held between Sept. 19-26.

The leaders of two more ROC diplomatic allies, namely Eswatini and the Marshall Islands, are scheduled to make their respective addresses at the General Debate on Wednesday.

Taiwan's government previously said that it had asked its 13 diplomatic allies as well as like-minded countries to voice support for the nation's inclusion in the U.N. system this year, either by speaking up during the General Assembly or sending a letter to U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres.

Several side events have also been launched by Taiwan's representative office in New York and a delegation of Taiwanese lawmakers visited the city to advocate for Taiwan's U.N. inclusion this year.

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

(By Joseph Yeh)


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