Nauru president speaks in support of Taiwan at UN
September 23, 2016, 12:05 am TWN
NEW YORK -- Nauru President Baron Divavesi Waqa on Wednesday spoke in support of Taiwan's participation in the international community, during the General Debate of the 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly.
Citing the U.N. Charter, Waqa said the 23 million people in Taiwan should have the same fundamental rights as others, regardless of the country's size.
He said Taiwan has contributed to the World Health Organization and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), and has supported the U.N.'s goal of sustainable development.
Taiwan also took the lead in the development of the low-carbon economy, Waqa said.
Taiwan is a key stakeholder in the international community, and its bid to participate in United Nations-affiliated organizations should be supported, he said.
Nauru was the first of Taiwan's 22 diplomatic allies to express support for its international efforts, at the U.N. meeting at which 38 national leaders spoke on Wednesday.
The leaders of two other Taiwan allies — Dominican Republic President Danilo Medina Sanchez and Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez Alvarado — addressed the U.N. General Assembly that day but did not mention Taiwan's bid to participate in the ICAO.
President Juan Carlos Varela Rodriguez of Panama, another of Taiwan's allies, also spoke on Tuesday but did not address the Taiwan issue.
Over the past two years, 16 of Taiwan's diplomatic allies, mostly Caribbean and Asia-Pacific countries, have expressed support for Taiwan at the U.N. General Assembly.