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Leaving a light at the United Nations for Taiwan

This article was written by Pierre T. P. Yang, Representative of the Taipei Representative Office in Ireland

Taiwan, an island-state next to China, exists de facto. Taiwan not only exists, but is often seen as a success story: it is a democracy, the first country in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage, and an important base for the world’s high-end chip production. Taiwan did not succeed overnight. Taiwan is dedicated to development and progress; throughout its history this is clear. After World War II, the island was once the world’s third largest producer of canned pineapples, afterward the world’s second largest exporter of bananas, then the world’s largest producer of computer mainboards, and now focuses on high-end chip technology. Taiwan lifted martial law in 1987 and held its first direct presidential election in 1996.In the process of development, Taiwan has received a lot of support and assistance from the international community. Taiwan is grateful for that.

However, to this day, Taiwan is still excluded from the United Nations – Founded in 1945, the UN has a charter to maintain international peace and security and uphold human rights, sustainability, among several other noble aims.

Taiwan would like to of course have a seat at the United Nations, but we also understand that this will not happen overnight. At the same time, we always feel that some things can be improved. For example, although Taiwanese passports are welcome in the European Union, the United States, and more than 170 countries or regions, Taiwanese nationals and Taiwanese media are still unable to enter the United Nations to visit, to attend or interview the meetings. We believe this matter should be improved to allow more inclusion.

Second, although many European countries, including Ireland, have expressed deep concern about the stability and peace of the Taiwan Strait, the UN has not expressed this same concern. We would expect the UN to act.

Third, there are many discussions and technical meetings in the UN system on climate change and sustainability issues, which require global participation and cooperation. Even if there is no seat yet, Taiwan can participate and contribute.

The UN has long succumbed to China’s pressure and continued to misinterpret UN General Assembly Resolution 2758 passed in 1971, which is the main reason why Taiwan was improperly excluded from the UN. Resolution 2758 has nothing to do with Taiwan, nor does it authorize the People’s Republic of China to represent Taiwan in the UN. The Chinese Communist Party has never ruled Taiwan. Taiwan is certainly not willing to be ruled by a dictatorship in the future.

Problem solving requires long-term efforts. We can keep fighting while waiting, if there is hope. I think the ancient Irish traditions can give us some inspiration: leaving a light on the window sill at night, so that travelers can see the road and hope clearly. Well, could this year’s UN General Assembly make improvements to the above suggestions and leave a light for Taiwan?

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