Taiwan delegation arrives in Canada for ICAO assembly
CNATAIPEI -- A delegation led by Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) Director-General Jean Shen arrived in Canada yesterday for the upcoming session of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) assembly.
September 24, 2013, 12:17 am TWN
She will be the first R.O.C. official to participate in the United Nations specialized agency's assembly session in more than 40 years.
Taking part in the meeting will allow Taiwan to obtain the latest information related to the main topics on the agenda, including aviation safety, a global security program and an environmentally friendly and sustainable aviation industry, Shen said at Taiwan's Taoyuan International Airport.
The Taiwan delegation will also seek to make a contribution by sharing the country's know-how in communication, navigation and monitoring, she told reporters.
The ICAO assembly's triennial session will run from Sept. 24 to Oct. 4 at the organization's headquarters in Montreal.
The CAA received an invitation letter on Sept. 11 for Shen to lead a delegation to the 38th session of the assembly as special guests of ICAO Council President Roberto Kobeh Gonzalez.
This marks the first time Taiwan has been invited to participate in proceedings of the ICAO in any capacity since the Republic of China gave up its seat at the United Nations in 1971.
Coincidentally, Shen joined the CAA that same year, and felt excited and pleased to be able to “return” to the ICAO assembly on behalf of Taiwan, said the director-general.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said that the delegation will attend the session under the designation “Chinese Taipei,” the same name Taiwan uses in the Olympics and other international organizations.
Shen stressed there is no question of Taiwan being degraded, as suggested by an opposition lawmaker, adding that what is important is for Taiwan to participate in a pragmatic and professional way.
Taiwan has sought “professional, pragmatic, dignified and meaningful” participation in the ICAO -- which promotes safe and efficient air travel -- as an observer since 2009, the ministry said.
Though officials have praised the breakthrough, the designation of “special guest” fell short of Taiwan's hopes of being given observer status at the meeting.