By Director-General Charles Chi-Yu Chou
Taiwan’s 2023 United Nations General Assembly Campaign underscores the urgent need for the United Nations to rectify its unjust exclusion of Taiwan’s 23 million people. This exclusion is rooted in the erroneous interpretation of UN General Assembly Resolution 2758 and runs contrary to the principles of universality, equality, and the pursuit of global peace and prosperity upon which the UN was founded.
The UN Charter’s Preamble begins with “We the Peoples,” emphasizing the equal rights of nations, regardless of size. Taiwan, home to 23 million people, deserves representation within the UN system based on these fundamental principles. However, the misinterpretation of UN General Assembly Resolution 2758 as synonymous with the “one China principle” unjustly excludes Taiwan. This misinterpretation fails to acknowledge that Taiwan and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) are not subordinate to each other and that only Taiwan’s democratically elected government can represent its people on the international stage.
This misrepresentation of Resolution 2758 contradicts the core principles of the UN Charter. Taiwan’s track record as a global contributor further underscores the need to rectify this misunderstanding and grant Taiwan meaningful participation in relevant UN specialized agencies and mechanisms, including the World Health Organization, the International Civil Aviation Organization, and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Addressing the discriminatory policy against Taiwanese passport holders and journalists is also imperative. The UN was established to serve the public interest and uphold the rights of all peoples. However, Taiwanese citizens are unfairly denied access to UN premises for visits and meetings, and their passports are not recognized as valid identification, despite being accepted by most countries globally. This discrimination also impacts Taiwanese media outlets and journalists, restricting their ability to cover UN events.
This unjustifiable discrimination not only infringes upon civic space within the UN but also undermines freedom of the press. Access to UN premises should be based on universal principles, not nationality. Rectifying these mistaken policies is essential to uphold the UN Charter’s principles.
The United Nations’ primary mission is to maintain global peace and security, and to ensure peaceful conflict resolution. Recent global crises, like the Russian invasion of Ukraine, have highlighted the far-reaching consequences of conflicts in an interconnected world. The PRC’s military provocations and coercive actions in the Indo-Pacific region, especially in the Taiwan Strait, have escalated tensions and jeopardized regional and global peace and stability.
Stability in the Taiwan Strait is pivotal for global security and prosperity, given its role as one of the most critical shipping routes in the world. The UN must actively facilitate peace, stability, and security in this region and beyond. UN Secretary-General António Guterres has committed to de-escalating tensions and promoting negotiation. The international community should urge the PRC to abide by the UN Charter’s principles and refrain Beijing from threats or the use of force.
As we approach 2030, UN Secretary-General Guterres has called on member states to accelerate progress on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Taiwan has actively engaged in various global issues, including sustainable agriculture, ocean conservation, climate financing, gender equality, inclusive education, and social innovation. Excluding Taiwan from these endeavours deprives the international community of valuable insights and contributions.
Including Taiwan in the implementation of the UN SDGs aligns with the principles of universality and inclusiveness, fostering global cooperation and partnership. Taiwan’s participation is crucial in achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and securing a more peaceful and prosperous future for all.
Taiwan’s 2023 UN campaign is a poignant reminder of the UN’s foundational principles, emphasizing equality, inclusivity, and the pursuit of global peace and prosperity. The UN must swiftly discard its discriminatory policies and address Taiwan’s unjust exclusion, while also promoting peace, security, and Taiwan’s meaningful participation in the UN SDGs. In a world grappling with complex global challenges, Taiwan’s involvement and contributions are not merely beneficial but necessary for the advancement of humanity. The United Nations must heed this call for justice, inclusion, and meaningful participation.