Thursday, July 17, 2008

A different way in?

Repeated attempts by Taiwan to gain access to the UN and the WHO have all been shot down, and despite “thawing” relations between Taipei and Beijing (the principal reason behind Taiwan’s repeated failures at the UN) it is unlikely that situation will change any time soon. Beyond participation, as a full member or observer, at various UN bodies, Taiwanese reporters have also been barred entry, as UN media accreditation is contingent on UN membership, which in turn has as a precondition official statehood recognized by the international community. What this means is that at such events as the World Health Assembly in Geneva in May, Taiwanese reporters are not allowed to enter the building to report on deliberations — even when the topic under discussion might be Taiwan’s application to join the body, or its diplomatic allies’ call that Taiwan’s application be considered.

Continuing to seek entry via regular channels, or awaiting media accreditation from an organization that is beholden to Beijing, will not bring Taiwanese the advantages they seek, and will leave it in the dark. A new strategy is therefore in order.

In "Acting with ingenuity at the UN," published today in the Taipei Times, I propose an alternative that could give Taiwanese media a way in.

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