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France, Japan, New Zealand speak up for Taiwan at ICAO meet, says MOFA

By Joseph Yeh

TAIWAN / CANADA, (CNA) – France, Japan and New Zealand have spoken up for Taiwan’s inclusion in the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) on the second day of the United Nations agency’s triennial assembly held in Montreal on Wednesday, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), even though none of them specifically mentioned Taiwan in their addresses.

In concluding his address to the assembly, French transport minister Clément Beaune said responses to common challenges nowadays called for more solidarity.

“This is the meaning of the word solidarity, no country should be left behind,” he said.

In the same vein, Tom Forster, manager of economic regulation in New Zealand’s ministry of transport, said that success in upholding aviation safety lay in cooperation.

“This is why New Zealand supports the substantive participation and attendance of all active members of the international aviation community in ICAO forums.”

“It is also important that all relevant authorities can benefit from the timely exchange of information via ICAO. This is imperative for international aviation safety, and the safety of all people that participate in international air travel,” he added.

Toshiro Toyoda, Japan’s state minister of land, infrastructure, transport and tourism, meanwhile, said Japan supported participation in ICAO meetings by all members of the international civil aviation community.

“As the participation of those active members is essential from the perspective of ensuring the effectiveness of global policies such as safety, security, and environment, Japan does not want to see a geographical blank in these areas,” he said.

Though none of the three officials mentioned Taiwan in their addresses, MOFA said in a press release that it considered the comments to have been referring to Taiwan’s absence in the ICAO and calling for Taiwan’s inclusion, for which the government expressed its gratitude.

ICAO is a specialized UN agency, and because Taiwan, officially named the Republic of China, has not been a UN member since losing its seat to the People’s Republic of China in 1971, it is not a member of the ICAO and has been unable to attend ICAO gatherings for many years.

Taiwan last attended the event in 2013 as a guest of the ICAO Council’s president, the first time that representatives from Taiwan had attended the gathering in 42 years, due to warming ties between Taiwan and China under the previous Kuomintang (KMT) administration.

But it has not been invited to the three meetings that have been held, including this year’s, since president Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) of the Democratic Progressive Party took office in 2016 and relations with China began to deteriorate.

ICAO’s triennial assembly is being held from September 27 to October 7 at its Montreal headquarters in Canada.

Related: MOFA – MOTC jointly declare determination to promote involvement in ICAO



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