CNA – Seven of Taiwan’s diplomatic allies praised the improvement in relations across the Taiwan Strait and voiced support for the country’s participation in United Nations-related agencies Friday during the ongoing General Debate of the 70th session of the U.N. General Assembly.
Burkina Faso interim President Michel Kafando expressed gratitude for the opportunity to speak at the session of the U.N. General Assembly. He was jailed about two weeks ago but later released in the wake of a military uprising driven by supporters of ex-President Blaise Compaore.
“It is thanks to you, defenders [of liberty and democracy], that I speak freely today,” he said, denouncing the Sept. 16 coup.
He also spoke on relations across the Taiwan Strait. He welcomed the improvement in cross-strait ties and encouraged both sides of the strait to continue their efforts to ease tension.
Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis Timothy Harris called on the international community to pay greater attention to the contributions made by the Republic of China in such areas as international cooperation, health, technology, peace and security.
His country and the ROC have maintained a friendship of 30 years, he said. That has benefited the sustainable development of St. Kitts and Nevis, he added.
Citing his country as an example, he said the cooperation between a tiny, developing country and a developed one can be a model for other countries to follow suit.
Belize Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington said that the 23 million people of Taiwan are ready to make contributions to the international community through the country’s participation in U.N. specialized agencies.
Alva Baptiste, foreign minister of St. Lucia, said that his country has noticed the continuing exchanges across the Taiwan Strait and the mutually beneficial trade relationship between the two sides.
Other foreign officials who spoke up for Taiwan included Makurita Baaro, Kiribati’s permanent representative to the U.N., Tuvalu’s Foreign Minister Taukelina Finikaso and Sao Tome and Principe’s Foreign Minister Manuel Salvador dos Ramos. They expressed support for Taiwan’s participation in U.N. specialized agencies such as the World Health Organization and the International Civil Aviation Organization, as well as the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Senior officials from 33 countries were scheduled to speak during Friday’s session.
Seven diplomatic allies of Taiwan spoke up for the country, but two other allies did not mention Taiwan in their prepared statements in the session.
Paul Richard Gallagher, the Holy See’s secretary for relations with states, and Mary Flores, Honduras’ ambassador to the U.N., did not mention Taiwan or talk about cross-strait issues.
Beginning Sept. 28, the U.N. General Debate will run through Oct. 6.
Over the past few days, Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes and representatives from Swaziland, St. Vincent, Nauru, Haiti, the Marshall Islands, and the Solomon Islands have spoken up for Taiwan during sessions of the U.N. General Debate.