Taiwan optimistic about ICAO assembly: MOFA
By Joseph Yeh ,The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taiwan is still optimistic that it will be able to participate as an observer in the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) assembly that will kick off later this month, the vice foreign minister said yesterday.
September 11, 2013, 12:11 am TWN
“It is our ultimate goal to be awarded observer status by the ICAO and to attend its general assembly this September,” Vanessa Shih (史亞平) told reporters.
Taiwan has made significant progress in reaching this long-anticipated goal and has over the past several years created the right atmosphere for the nation to attend the organization, she added.
Shih however stressed that Taiwan's participation in the ICAO assembly as an observer is not the only goal for which the government is aiming.
She said the ruling administration has been pushing for meaningful participation in the ICAO since 2009.
The ICAO will convene the 38th session of its triennial assembly in Montreal. This year's meeting will run from Sept. 24 to Oct. 4.
The agency, which operates under the United Nations, organizes other events and activities, and Taiwan is also hoping to participate in some of them, the vice minister said.
“The ICAO's board members regularly hold three meetings a year,” she said.
“It also has various committee sessions, regional seminars and symposiums.”
Shih made the remarks when asked by reporters if Taiwan could achieve its stated goal of joining the ICAO assembly this year.
Local media previously reported that Taiwan would most likely not be able to attend the general assembly this year because Taiwan had not yet received an invitation from the ICAO.
Thawing Cross-Strait Ties Key to Participation
Commenting on the issue, Shih said yesterday that Taiwan has made progress over the years in soliciting international support for ICAO participation.
The thawing of cross-strait ties also gave the nation confidence that it would be permitted to attend in the near future.
“We still have high hopes that we can attend the assembly this year,” she noted.
During a meeting between former Vice President Lien Chan (連戰) and former Chinese leader Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) in September 2012, Hu promised that Beijing will “seriously consider” the possibility of supporting Taipei's participation in the ICAO in an appropriate fashion.
Hu's comments were made during a meeting with Lien on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Leaders' Meeting in Vladivostok.
The ICAO is a specialized agency under the U.N. that codifies the principles and techniques of international air navigation and that fosters the planning and development of international air transport to ensure safe and orderly growth.
Taiwan, which is not a U.N. member, is dependent on support from other countries to gain observer status in the U.N. agency.