Taipei, Sept. 27 (CNA) Twelve of Taiwan’s diplomatic allies jointly sent a letter on Tuesday to United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in support of Taiwan’s request to play a more active role in the international organization.
In the letter, the diplomatic allies called on the U.N. to respond positively to Taiwan’s three demands to the international organization, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA).
The three demands made of the U.N. are for it not to reject Taiwan, in line with the principle of true universality; end measures preventing Taiwanese from entering U.N. meetings; and include Taiwan because of its achievements in realizing U.N. sustainable development goals.
The letter was accepted by U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed of Nigeria and was to be delivered to Guterres later Tuesday after the general debate of the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly concluded Monday.
The 12 allies are Nauru, Belize, Marshall Islands, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Swaziland, Solomon Islands, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Tuvalu, Kiribati, Burkina Faso, Haiti and El Salvador.
After handing over the joint letter, Lois Michele Young, the permanent representative of Belize to the U.N., told CNA that Taiwanese passport holders enjoy visa-free or travel privileges to 165 countries and territories that are all U.N. members, and she questioned why Taiwanese could not step inside U.N. headquarters.
Young said there was also no reason why Taiwan, the world’s 22nd largest economy, should be excluded from discussions of global affairs.
Sehon Marshall, the permanent representative to the U.N. of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, said he will continue to persuade and encourage the U.N. to lift all restrictions on the Republic of China (Taiwan).
Aside from the joint letter, three other diplomatic allies — Nicaragua, Paraguay and Honduras — sent their own individual letters to the U.N. Secretariat.
That brought the total number of allies who either spoke up for Taiwan during the General Assembly’s general debate or sent letters on its behalf to 17 of its 20 diplomatic allies, the MOFA said in a statement.
The 15 allies that spoke up for Taiwan during the general debate were Paraguay, Swaziland, Nauru, Haiti, Burkina Faso, Palau, Tuvalu, Kiribati, St. Lucia, Solomon Islands, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize, the Marshall Islands, St. Kitts and Nevis, and Nicaragua.
The three countries that did not publicly support Taiwan during the general debate or with letters were Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, and the Holy See.
Taiwan’s only diplomatic ally in Europe, the Holy See, is not a member of the U.N. but a permanent observer state that rarely speaks at meetings.
However, Monsignor Tomasz Grysa, deputy head of the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the U.N., did show support for Taiwan by joining 10 of the allies that signed the joint letter in delivering it to the U.N.
The Foreign Ministry expressed its gratitude to Taiwan’s allies for their support, and reiterated its appeal that the U.N. take action to accept Taiwan’s participation in U.N.-related organizations, it said.
(By Joseph Yeh, Timothy J. Hwang and Evelyn Kao)