Taiwan loses 14th bid for U.N. participation
Taiwan suffered a 14th setback in its bid to participate in the United Nations Tuesday as a proposal on the issue was again excluded from the U.N. agenda owing to China's obstruction.
The General Committee of the U.N. General Assembly decided not to put the proposal on the agenda of the assembly's 61st session, which officially opened Tuesday, citing a lack of consensus among U.N. members on this matter.
Taiwan's diplomatic allies are expected to start a fresh round of discussion in support of Taiwan when the General Assembly confirms the agenda Wednesday.
At issue was the proposal on "the representation and participation of the 23 million people of Taiwan in the United Nations," which was jointly put forth by 18 of Taiwan's diplomatic allies. They were namely Belize, Burkina Faso, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, the Gambia, Honduras, Kiribati, Malawi, the Marshall Islands, Nauru, Nicaragua, Palau, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Sao Tome and Principe, the Solomon Islands, Swaziland and Tuvalu.
During the committee meeting, China mobilized its diplomatic allies, led by Uganda, to request a two-on-two debate on the proposal in an attempt to limit discussion.
The request was challenged by Haiti, another of Taiwan's diplomatic allies, which asked for free debate.
In face of this development, Wang Guangya, China's ambassador and permanent representative to the United Nations, threatened to push for a vote on the proposal if Haiti continued to confront Uganda's request. Committee chairman Haya Rashed Al Khalifa later ruled in favor of a two-on-two debate, with the Gambia and Nicaragua arguing on behalf of Taiwan against China and Uganda. Niracagua's U.N. representative Eduardo Sevilla Somaza and Gambia's U.N. representative Crispin Grey-Johnson strongly protested the ruling, which they claimed was in violation of meeting procedure rules.
Sevilla and Grey-Johnson suggested the committee seek legal counsel on the ruling and defer discussion on the proposal to the next General Committee meeting.
This year, 14 of Taiwan's diplomatic allies have also put forth a proposal on "a proactive role for the United Nations in maintaining peace and security in East Asia, " which calls on the United Nations to take concrete action to promote peace, stability and security in East Asia, including the Taiwan Strait.
This proposal, which was handled together with the one on Taiwan's U.N. participation, was likewise excluded from the agenda of the General Assembly.
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