Tuvalu at the United Nations

Tuvalu At the United Nations

Tuvalu Deputy Prime Minister Supports Reforms to the United Nations but disappointed with response to Taiwan Membership

01 October 2007, New York: The Deputy Prime Minister of Tuvalu, the Hon. Tavau Teii addressed the United Nations General Assembly today. In his speech to the UN he highlighted five key issues. United Nations reforms, the United Nations presence in Pacific small island developing States, the question of Taiwan’s membership in the United Nations and its agencies, criteria for LDC graduation and responding to climate change.

On United Nations reforms, the Deputy Prime Minister welcomed and supported the ongoing work on the reform of the UN. He supported the Secret-General’s response to the recommendations of the High-level Panel on UN System-wide Coherence and agreed that the UN system must be more results-oriented, efficient and accountable.

Mr Teii said, “The UN system must be more results-oriented, efficient and accountable.”

Regarding the representation of United Nations in the Pacific, the Deputy Prime Minister said that his government was very disappointed with the very slow in establishing UN offices and noted that none was established in Tuvalu.

“We feel that Tuvalu and other small island developing States from the Pacific each deserves to have a UN office established in-country.” This will be instrumental in the coordination and implementation of UN projects and programmes on the ground. We appeal to the United Nations for the earliest implementation of this long overdue commitment”, said Mr Teii.

Mr Teii reaffirmed the Tuvalu government’s strong support for Taiwan’s membership application to the United Nations.

Mr Teii emphasized: “We feel that this issue is long overdue and needs to be considered more seriously and purely on its own merits. Taiwan has shown international responsibility. It is our strong opinion that Taiwan, as a country with a well and clear defined territory, an established democratic system of government, and a responsible international player in world trade, development and diplomatic relations, the rights and self-determination of the Taiwanese people to join the UN should be urgently addressed.”

On the issue of graduation from the least develop countries category, the Deputy Prime Minister noted great anxiety within Tuvalu. He said that Tuvalu has unique economic and environmental vulnerabilities and that any change in its LDC status would be unacceptable.

On new arrangements for climate change, the Deputy Prime Minister said that the international community must seize the opportunity for change at the next Conference of Parties in Bali, in December.

“We must set ourselves a short time frame to create a new legally binding agreement on climate change. This should not undermine the Kyoto Protocol, but build on its strengths. Those countries that have turned their backs on the Kyoto Protocol must now take part in the global effort and commit to reducing their emissions within a tight timeframe. Once this is done, then we will see the rest of the world move forward, for it is crucial that all countries must make an effort to reduce their emissions. We must not waste the opportunity at Bali.” said Mr Teii.

[Editors note: See media release on UNGA comment on climate change: “Time for New Legal Agreement on Climate Change says Deputy Prime Minister of Tuvalu” released at the same time as this release.]

For further information contact:
Ambassador Afelee Pita
Permanent Mission of Tuvalu to the United Nations
Tel: 1 212-490 0534

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