Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

Tragedy of typhoon offers new chance for Taiwan's UN participation

17th September 2009

The devastation caused by Typhoon Morakot in Taiwan should spur the international community to deepen its support for Taiwan's goal of participating as an observer in United Nations organisations, Conservative foreign affairs spokesman in the European Parliament Charles Tannock will say today during a debate in Strasbourg.

Dr Tannock said that because Taiwan is so regularly affected by typhoons, and because such events are expected to become more common as a result of climate change, Taiwan should be permitted to participate actively and with dignity in international bodies, particularly those related to weather such as the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the World Meteorological Organization.

The MEP, who is chairman of the European Parliament-Taiwan Friendship Group, said that all three main EU institutions supported Taiwan's meaningful participation in UN bodies but he said that the aftermath of the typhoon created an opportunity for the EU to pursue this policy more actively.

Dr Tannock said:

"The calamity that has affected Taiwan may well become more commonplace both in Taiwan and around the world as a result of climate change.

"It is therefore essential that Taiwan, as an island vulnerable to such meteorological phenomena and as a major global industrial power, is enabled to participate meaningfully and with dignity in appropriate international organizations, not least those related to weather and climate change.

"In particular Taiwan should be allowed to participate in the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change and the World Meteorological Organization.

"Both the Council and the Commission support Taiwan’s meaningful participation in UN bodies, and I hope they will use the opportunity that this disaster has presented to promote Taiwan’s involvement in these structures."