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Haiti did not mention Taiwan in U.N. due to 'extraordinary circumstances': MOFA

09/26/2023 03:37 PM
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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs. CNA file photo
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs. CNA file photo

Taipei, Sept. 26 (CNA) A senior Taiwanese diplomat on Tuesday said that Haiti Prime Minister Ariel Henry did not mention Taiwan during his address delivered Friday at this year's United Nations General Debate because of the "extraordinary circumstances" the Caribbean ally is facing.

Jonathan Sun (孫儉元), head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) Department of International Organizations, made the remarks in Taipei when asked to comment on why the Haiti leader did not mention Taiwan, officially the Republic of China, during his address at the 78th General Assembly in New York.

Haiti is Taiwan's only diplomatic ally among the 12 that are official U.N. members to not bring up the issue of Taiwan being excluded from the international body during their respective addresses.

Another of Taiwan's allies, the Holy See, is not a member of the U.N., but an observer, so rarely speaks about political issues during U.N. meetings.

According to Sun, before the General Assembly every year, representatives from MOFA and Taiwan's embassies in allied countries communicate with those governments in the hope they will support Taiwan's bid to be included in the U.N. "in the most appropriate way they can."

Despite the Haitian leader not directly mentioning Taiwan in his U.N. address, he did mention the importance of self-determination and upholding universal principles, which are in line with Taiwan's call for meaningful participation in the U.N., according to Sun.

Sun did not elaborate but according to MOFA, he was referring to part of Henry's speech that said Haiti "has always been present to help brotherly peoples in their legitimate struggle for freedom and self-determination, sometimes even within the U.N."

An unnamed diplomatic source told CNA that Haiti has been embroiled in widespread political, economic and security crises since former Haitian President Jovenel Moïse was assassinated at his home in July 2021.

According to U.N. statistics, more than 2,400 people have been killed in Haiti since the start of 2023 amid rampant gang violence.

The source said this is why the Haiti leader focused more on the continuing unrest in his country during this year's address and did not directly mention Taiwan.

In his Friday address, Henry requested help to bolster the Haitian National Police and pressed the Security Council to urgently act under Chapter VII of the Charter to "authorize the deployment of a multinational support mission to ensure Haiti's security."

Such a mission should consist of both police and military personnel supporting the Haiti police in combating gangs and restoring peace and order, he added.

Meanwhile, Sun said Tuesday that all of the nation's diplomatic allies, including Haiti, will send a joint letter to U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in support of Taiwan's request to play a more active role in the international organization.

He did not say if the Holy See would be involved in the letter-sending event, which has taken place for several years as part of the Taiwan government's campaign to be included in the U.N. system.

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

(By Joseph Yeh)


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