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Gambia calls for more inclusion of Taiwan in international arena

Oct 3, 2012, 9:49 AM

The Gambia has once again called for the meaningful participation and membership of Taiwan in international organisations and UN specialised agencies.

The call was made by the vice president Dr Isatou Njie Saidy in New York at the 67th General Assembly session of the United Nations.

“My delegation would like to use this rostrum to appeal to the collective membership of this organization, including China, to contribute to opening the avenues for membership of Taiwan in the various funds, agencies, treaty bodies and programmes,” she said.

According to her, this will only enhance the effectiveness of these bodies for our mutual benefit.

VP Njie Saidy noted that Taiwan is a key player in international trade and politics.

“It has enduring ties with China and so what we are appealing for is the practical extension of the rapport Taiwan has with China to the international stage. China conducts trade, business and tourism with Taiwan and both engage in discussing a range of bilateral issues.

The rest of the international community ought to do the same, and the avenues of dialogue have to be opened.

On Cuba

Commenting on the issue of Cuba, the vice president said: “The embargo imposed on Cuba by the United States fifty years ago is still in place for no justifiable reason. If it ever made sense then, today it does not make sense keeping it in place! It is shameful that in the 21st’ century a cold war relic stands as the only stumbling block between the establishment of good neighbourly relations and the rejection of empty political cacophony in some quarters. We call on the United States to totally extirpate the embargo and throw it in the dustbin of history where it properly belongs.”

On Syria, Palestine

“We all witnessed the dramatic and historic events that transformed parts of the Middle East and Africa. It is our hope that these transformations will endure and nurture the ideals of peace, security, development and democracy. We must not lose sight of some of the negative concomitants of these upheavals as is currently evident in Syria.”

“My delegation believed that the Annan Plan would have brought about stability as well as provide for space for dialogue between the parties. It seems there is lack of goodwill and trust between the parties, as well as the invisible hand of external elements hell-bent on achieving one outcome or the other. Syria is now a deeply divided society and the international community is partly to blame for its actions or inaction. We urge the parties to go back to the negotiating table and revive the Annan Plan. The international community ought to play a more positive role than it is currently doing, innocent lives are being lost for no just cause.”

She said that the Palestinian situation is deplorable. The situation has deteriorated to the point that a one-state solution may be inevitable. Israel, the occupying power in defiance of international law, human decency and restraint is imposing a de facto situation on Palestinians through despicable settlement activity and land grabbing. The sad reality is that it is the mechanisms of the United Nations Security Council that are constantly invoked to further delay or stifle necessary action in bringing lasting peace to Palestine. The excesses of Israel - land grabbing, settlement activity, mass imprisonment of Palestinians, denial of revenue, maiming, murder of Palestinians by the state apparatus and many others ought to be halted. Truth is bitter when told, but it is what will set us all free.

On conflicts in Africa, she said the international community would pay a very steep price if it did not wake up from its slumber and resolve the situations in Mali and Guinea-Bissau. ECOWAS should not be left alone to shoulder the burden. The Security Council must act with a great sense of urgency.

“Gambia stands ready to contribute meaningfully to the settlement of these conflicts,” she said. The level of steadfastness shown in solving the conflicts in Liberia and Sierra Leone must equally be shown in Mali and Guinea-Bissau. The situation in Darfur continued to occupy the attention of her delegation. She called for more dialogue in finding a lasting solution to this conflict, and expressed equal concern about the lingering conflict between Sudan and South Sudan.