16 allies speak in favor of nation at UN
Taiwan’s government yesterday expressed its gratitude toward the diplomatic allies that vouched for it as the United Nations General Assembly convened for its annual General Debate last week. All in all, 16 of the R.O.C.’s diplomatic allies spoke directly in support of the island’s participation in international organizations activity.
Foreign Minister David Lin thanked the 16 allies, which included Paraguay, Swaziland, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Nauru, the Marshall Islands, Haiti, the Solomon Islands, Burkina Faso, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Belize, Saint Lucia, Kiribati, Sao Tome and Principe, Guatemala, and Palau. The number of allies speaking for Taiwan was the same as in the previous two years.
The foreign minister extended his thanks, stating that it was “a good thing” for the R.O.C.’s allies to speak for its greater participation in U.N. activities.
Minister Carlos Raul Morales praised the improvement of relations in the Taiwan Strait and the increased cooperation between Taiwan and mainland China. Palau’s U. N. Ambassador Caleb Otto thanked the R.O.C. for helping his country reach its Millennium Development Goals and cited Taiwan’s promise to reduce carbon emissions to 50 percent of 2005 emission levels by 2050.
The six diplomatic allies who did not mention Taiwan in their opening addresses to the General Assembly included the Vatican, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Panama and the Dominican Republic.
Lin attempted to downplay these developments, saying that the number of allies speaking for the island had remained constant, and that those states that chose not to speak on behalf of Taiwan had their own considerations and were not necessarily pressured by mainland China or the presence of its leader, Xi Jinping, at the international body. Xi made his first appearance at the U.N. General Assembly since taking over as mainland leader three years ago.
In past practice, the Vatican has never used the General Debate as a venue to voice support for the R.O.C., while Central American allies Panama, Honduras and the Dominican Republic have chosen not to speak for the R.O.C. in recent years.
The 70th session of the U.N. General Assembly in New York has been attended by 144 world leaders and will run until Oct. 6. Participation has run even higher for the summit dedicated to sustainable development.
Taiwan has now attempted for 23 years to rejoin the U.N. or seek a greater role in its sponsored organizations and institutions after being expelled in 1971 in favor of the participation of mainland China.
Under a diplomatic truce beginning in 2008, Taiwan and China have in recent years ceased to openly attempt to poach each other’s diplomatic allies in a battle for international recognition.