Press Releases

     
    For information only - not an official document.
    Press Release No: UNIS/GA/1684
    Release Date:  8 September 2000
     General Committee Recommends Nine Additional Items
    For General Assembly Agenda

    Decides Not To Recommend Inclusion
    Of Item on “Republic of China on Taiwan”

    NEW YORK, 7 September (UN Headquarters) –  The General Committee tonight recommended nine additional items for inclusion on the General Assembly’s agenda for its fifty-fourth session, which brings the total, including the 169 items it recommended for inclusion yesterday, to 178 items.

     Following a debate with 68 speakers, the Committee decided not to recommend inclusion of a proposed item on the “need to examine the exceptional international situation pertaining to the Republic of China on Taiwan, to ensure that the fundamental rights of its 23 million people to participate in the work and activities of the United Nations is fully respected”. 

    The representative of China said there was only one China, and Taiwan had been an inseparable part of its territory since ancient times.  The Government of the People’s Republic of China rightfully represented all Chinese, including the compatriots in Taiwan, in the United Nations and all organizations related to it.  Thus, there was simply no such issue as Taiwan’s so-called “representation in the United Nations”.

    As part of China, furthermore, he continued, Taiwan was not eligible to participate in any organization composed of sovereign States, including the United Nations. 

    The President of Nauru said it was a tragedy that the United Nations had not been able to recognize the Republic of China on Taiwan, because it was held ransom by only one country -- the People’s Republic of China.  Many of the Member States recognized Taiwan as an economic and financial partner, buying their goods and accepting their assistance when convenient.  But in one of the world’s greatest hypocrisies, only a handful recognized Taiwan as a political entity.  He failed to see any down side to the admittance of the Republic of China on Taiwan as a member of the Organization, be it as a full member or as an observer.
     

     Statements on the proposed item were also made by the representatives of Senegal, San Tome and Principe, Swaziland, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Solomon Islands, Belize, Argentina, Dominica, Burkina Faso, Marshall Islands, Gambia, Kuwait, Nicaragua, Chad, Liberia, El Salvador, Grenada, Sri Lanka, Chile, Myanmar, Lesotho, Ireland, Mexico, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Malawi, United Republic of Tanzania, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Iraq, Syria, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, South Africa, Libya, Brazil, Russian Federation, Belarus, Uzbekistan, United States, Saint Lucia, Cuba, Cyprus, Algeria, Bangladesh, Egypt, Angola, Ukraine, Mali, Cambodia, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Guyana, Kazakhstan, Italy, United Kingdom, Mozambique, Kyrgyzstan, France, Gabon, Viet Nam, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Yemen, Tunisia, Djibouti, Bhutan, Mongolia, Pakistan and the United Kingdom.

     The representatives of Sweden and United Kingdom also spoke on other items.

    The Committee recommended that the items on “Cooperation between the United Nations and the Council of Europe”, “Observer status for the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance in the General Assembly”, “Towards global partnerships”, “The role of the United Nations in promoting a new global human order”, “The role of diamonds in fuelling conflict” and “Review of the problem of human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome in all its aspects” be allocated to the plenary meetings. 

    It also recommended that the items on “Scale of assessments for the apportionment of the expenses of United Nations peacekeeping operations” and “Financing of the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea” be allocated to the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary).  It recommended that the item “Observer status for the Inter-American Development Bank in the General Assembly” be allocated to the Sixth Committee (Legal).

     The General Committee will meet again at a date to be announced.

    Committee Work Programme

     The General Assembly’s General Committee met this evening to continue consideration of the organization of work of the Assembly’s fifty-fifth session, of its agenda and the allocation of items for the session.

     The Committee had before it a memorandum by the Secretary-General on these questions (document A/BUR/55/1 and Add.1).  The document contains, among other things, the list of items recommended for inclusion in the year’s agenda of the Assembly.  Yesterday, the Committee recommended 169 items for inclusion.  (See Press Release GA/9752 of 6 September.)

     Among the items still to be considered are:  observer status for the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance in the General Assembly; the need to examine the exceptional international situation pertaining to the Republic of China on Taiwan, to ensure that the fundamental right of its 23 million people to participate in the work and activities of the United Nations is fully respected; towards global partnerships; and the role of the United Nations in promoting a new global human order.

    Observer Status for International Institute for Democracy

     PER NORSTROM (Sweden), speaking on behalf of the member States of the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, said that the members had proposed the inclusion of the item.  At present, 19 States were members of the Institute.  International idea was an intergovernmental organization that was based on an international agreement between governments.  The work of the idea was directly relevant to the work of the United Nations.  It cooperated in building assisting countries in the building of democratization.  International Idea had cooperated with the United Nations on several projects.  It had also cooperated with the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR). 

     In light of that, it would be important to consolidate the links to the United Nations.  He hoped that the General Committee would decide to include the proposed item and allocate it to the Sixth (Legal) Committee.

     The General Committee then decided to include the item.

    Question of Republic of China on Taiwan

     IBRA DEGUENE KA (Senegal) said that discussion of the issue of the Republic of China on Taiwan was neither a futile debate nor a waste of time and energy.  Neither was it an attempt to undermine the sovereignty of any Member State.  The current debate was a necessity for the world to become aware of the injustice of a founding State of the United Nations.  He used the term “State” because, among other reasons, Taiwan’s population of 23 million people made it larger than many States on his own continent.  Taiwan’s contribution to the United Nations community was a visible, tangible reality that had existed for more than 50 years.

    He said that with the end of the cold war and its attendant antagonism, the issue of the Republic of China on Taiwan must be raised and resolved here at the United Nations in the interest of the people that lived there.  Taiwan had indeed expressed its will to grow towards democracy with a respect for human rights and the rule of law.  It was true that Taiwan had contributed millions of dollars for countries suffering from humanitarian and natural disasters. 

    Finally, how could the United Nations deny the reality of the Republic of China on Taiwan’s commitment to democracy? he asked.  How can the Organization continue to ignore this peaceful dynamic country?  Perhaps Member States would take notice of the two Yemens, the two Germanys and, most particularly, the two Koreas that were committed to a positive dialogue.  Admission of Taiwan could not be an obstacle to reunification; it might even facilitate peace and cooperation within the region.  Divided States could indeed sit together in the United Nations while awaiting political reunification.  The United Nations could and must encourage the spirit of reconciliation in the interest of international peace and security 

    WANG YINGFAN (China) said that, after repeated failure in the past seven years, a small number of countries had once again raised the issue of so-called “Taiwan’s participation in the United Nations” in an attempt to create “two Chinas” and “one China, one Taiwan” in the Organization.  That was a violation of the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, as well as resolution 2758 of the General Assembly, which, adopted in 1971, acknowledged that “the representatives of the Government of the People’s Republic of China to the United Nations are the only lawful representatives of China to the United Nations”.  He strongly opposed the inclusion of item 183 of the draft agenda in the agenda of the fifty-fifth session of the General Assembly. 

    He said there was only one China and Taiwan had been an inseparable part of its territory since ancient times.  The 1943 Cairo Declaration, the 1945 Potsdam Proclamation, and the positions of the vast majority of Member States acknowledged that fact.  The Government of the People’s Republic of China rightfully represented all Chinese, including the compatriots in Taiwan, in the United Nations and all organizations related to it.  Thus, there is simply no such issue as Taiwan’s so-called “representation in the United Nations”.

    As part of China, furthermore, Taiwan was not eligible to participate in any organization composed of sovereign States, including the United Nations, he said.  As a left-over of China’s civil war, the question of Taiwan was, moreover, fundamentally different from the issue of “two Germany” and “two Koreas”.

    DOMINGOS AUGUSTO FERREIRA (Sao Tome and Principe) supported the right of the people of Taiwan to be represented in the international community, as well as the inclusion of item 183 of the draft agenda in the agenda of the fifty-fifth session of the General Assembly.

    He recalled the inaugural address of Taiwan’s new President last May, in which he affirmed the common culture of both sides of the Taiwan Strait and pledged that his government would take no step to change the status quo with regard to independence or unification, as long as Beijing showed no intention to use force against Taiwan, whose sovereignty, dignity and security he was mandated to maintain.  Such a statement was an embrace of peace and dialogue and reflected Taiwan’s commitment to the Charter of the United Nations.

     BERNARD DOWIYOGO, President of Nauru, said this proposal was not a matter of creating two Chinas.  It was a tragedy that the United Nations had not been able to recognize the Republic of China on Taiwan because it was held ransom by only one country -- China.  He joined those who spoke before in calling for the inclusion of the item and reiterated the plea for the recognition of the Republic of China on Taiwan as a legitimate self-governing democratic State that deserved representation in the United Nations.  It was his strong belief that membership of the Republic of China on Taiwan in the United Nations would benefit the institution and its developing Members.  He estimated that Taiwan’s assessed contribution to the regular and peacekeeping budgets could be in excess of $20 million.

     Many of the Member States present recognized Taiwan as an economic and financial partner, buying their goods and accepting their assistance when convenient.  But, in one of the world’s greatest hypocrisies, only a handful recognized Taiwan as a political entity.  Nauru failed to see any downside to the admittance of the Republic of China on Taiwan as a member of the Organization, be it as a full member or as an observer.  In fact, it saw a lot of upside, if the resolution was allowed to take its due process.

     CLIFFORD MAMBA (Swaziland) expressed his support for inclusion of the item.  The Republic of China on Taiwan eagerly awaited the day that it would be admitted to the family of the United Nations.  He was convinced that, if the matter was given all the attention it deserved, the historic imbalance that existed could be adequately addressed.  To show its commitment, the Republic of China on Taiwan had created a new framework for a policy with China and cross-strait trade had increased as a result.  A new course by the new leader of Taiwan represented a new beginning, which could not be ignored.  He was convinced that with the support of the United Nations, a new chapter could be opened in the relations across the Strait. 

    RAVAN A.G. FARHADI (Afghanistan) said that in 1971 the Member States adopted resolution 2758, which said unambiguously that the Government of the People’s Republic of China was the only representative of the Chinese nation.  In other words, they accepted the legal existence of a single China.  The presence of Taiwan in this body would mean that there were two Chinas.  The authorities in Taiwan should negotiate with the Government of China on these matters.  The question of Taiwan should not appear on the agenda of the General Assembly.

    ABDUKAKHOR NUROV (Tajikistan) said that the integrity of the People’s Republic of China was established in international agreements.  There was only one China.   The Government of the People’s Republic of China was the only legal government representing the whole of China.  His Government believed that the resolution, adopted by the overwhelming majority of Member States, resolved the question and did not require any review.  Therefore, his Government was opposed to the inclusion of the item on the agenda. 

     JEREMIAH MANELE (Solomon Islands) fully endorsed the statement made by the representative of Senegal.  Taiwan’s historic accomplishments in its own economic development and promotion of democracy had led it to assist many developing countries in both humanitarian and development areas.

     Peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait was critical to the overall security of the Asia-Pacific region and the world at large, he said.  The United Nations would be the best venue for building confidence between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait.  Dialogue, rather than the use of force, was the best option for promoting reconciliation.

     DINA SHOMAN (Belize) said that 23 million people on Taiwan were asking the international community to hear their cry.  Those 23 million people were unique in many ways.  The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Alliance of Small Island States had played a crucial role in the Organization.  They had observed that the special problems of islands needed to be addressed in a special fashion.  They had realized that islands always presented a set of special challenges to international organizations.  Island peoples were all unique and independent.  Many islands, like Taiwan, made unique contributions to the international community.  It would, therefore, be proper that the item should be included. 

     RICARDO LUIS BOCALANDRO (Argentina) said that the 1971 General Assembly resolution had made it exceedingly clear that the People’s Republic of China was the only legal representative of China.  That resolution had also named China one of the five permanent members of the Security Council.  The need to respect the integrity of the Charter had led his country to support that theory.  Taiwan was, therefore, an inalienable part of the People’s Republic of China.  His delegation could not share the opinion that it would be reasonable to add a topic on this issue to the current agenda of the General Assembly.

    Ms. THEODORO (Dominica) said that her delegation had joined with some 12 other Member States and sent a letter to the Secretary-General in August seeking to have the item included in the agenda of the fifty-fifth General Assembly.  She urged recognition of the view that it was fundamentally wrong to exclude the 23 million people on the island of Taiwan from participating in the work of the United Nations.  In support of that view, she drew the Committee’s attention to statistical data that showed that the Republic of China on Taiwan had the world’s ninth largest economy and was one of the fourth largest trading nations.  Such data disputed the outmoded view that the item should be excluded.

    Quoting the position of the European Union, she said that the healthy respect for the principle of justice, human rights and freedoms shown by the Republic of China on Taiwan was the envy of many other nations.  In the entire history of the United Nations, no country with the record similar to that of Taiwan had been denied the right to participate in the work of the Organization.  But for apparent geo-political reasons, the people of Taiwan were being denied.  Participation denoted contribution, she said, and the United Nations would be deprived of Taiwan’s contributions to the global community.  Given the outstanding record of achievement in almost every field of human endeavour, the Republic of China on Taiwan had earned the right to have its particular circumstances reviewed.

    MICHEL KAFANDO (Burkina Faso) said that his delegation was among those who pleaded for the representation of Taiwan’s 23 million people in the work of the United Nations.  Resolution 2758 was adopted by vote, not consensus.  The fact was that Taiwan already existed as a sovereign State, with a territory, a population of 23 million inhabitants, diplomatic relations, and an independent, democratically elected government.  It had all the characteristics of a State as recognized by international law. 

    Resolution 2758 was, he said, an anachronism.  Taiwan respected the ideals of the United Nations, and had a sincere desire to improve inter-Strait relations.  He hoped that both parties could find common ground to resolve the issue in the interest of peace, and that the people of Taiwan could determine their own fate, following the principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations. 

     JACKEO A. RELANG (Marshall Islands) said that his country associated itself with previous speakers in supporting the inclusion of the item.  It fully respected the sovereignty of individual countries and wished not to interfere in their domestic affairs.  The Government and People of the Republic of China on Taiwan had every legitimate right to participate in the work of the United Nations.  There were moral, legal, economic, political, historical and even human rights grounds on which the righteous voice of the 23 million people of the Republic of China on Taiwan deserved to be heard.

     In the long run, there was a need for the United Nations to examine the Republic of China on Taiwan’s unique situation, if the United Nations wished to achieve the goals of conflict prevention and international progress.  The United Nations was the only forum for Taipei and Beijing to build mutual trust and to resolve the pending issues through peaceful dialogue.  It was high time for the United Nations to facilitate the dialogue of the two sides of the Taiwan Strait in a manner of fraternity and equality.

     JULIANA BALDEH (Gambia) said that the discussion was about inclusiveness.  It defied logic that a country of 23 million people was consistently barred from participation in the work of the United Nations.  It was her delegation’s firm belief that the Millennium Summit was the time for historic decisions.  The Republic of China on Taiwan had a lot to offer on such subjects as human rights and the matter of good governance.  As for the information and technology revolution, the Republic of China on Taiwan was in the vanguard.

    The Republic of China on Taiwan was one of the most successful examples of development in the twentieth century, she said.  The Republic of China on Taiwan, over the years, had sent over 10,000 experts to train technicians, especially to developing countries.  The United Nations should help the process of dialogue by considering how both sides of the Strait could participate in the United Nations.  The delegation of the Gambia supported inclusion of the item. 

    BADER MOHAMMED E. AL-AWDI (Kuwait) said that the item had been decided on and resolved by resolution 2758.  Any attempt to inscribe this item on the agenda for the fifty-fifth session of the General Assembly ran counter to that resolution.  There was only one China and its capital was Beijing.

    MARIO H. CASTELLON DUARTE (Nicaragua) said his delegation supported the establishment of a working group to examine the question of Taiwan, so that its people could be represented in the United Nations.  Taiwan met the qualifications of a Member State, including democracy and respect for human rights.  It maintained relationships with other States, and, while originally a beneficiary of development aid, it now provided aid, particularly for natural disasters in South America.  As a member it would make a positive contribution to the programmes of the United Nations. 

    MAHAMAT NOUR BABIKIR (Chad) urged the people of both the Republic of China on Taiwan and the People’s Republic of China to continue the dialogue that had begun, so as to achieve a positive outcome for the citizens of both nations. However, the freedom to participate in the United Nations should be open to the Republic of China on Taiwan. 

    In accordance with the rules of procedure, the question of Taiwan must be open to debate and interactive dialogue, if the millions of citizens living there were to be allowed to participate in the activities of the United Nations.  By allowing such debate, the Organization would confirm its impartiality towards all peoples and express its will to specifically recognize the rights of the people of the Republic of China on Taiwan.

     FAMATTA ROSE OSODE (Liberia) fully subscribed to the request for the inclusion of the current item in the agenda of the fifty-fifth session of the General Assembly.  The dawn of a new millennium and the convening of the United Nations Millennium Summit should further stimulate the United Nations community to recognize the situation of the 23 million people of the Republic of China on Taiwan and should spur world governments to recognize their shared responsibilities to that end.

     The geo-political landscape had changed over the last 50 years and the benefits of regional cooperation were tremendous.  To that end, the United Nations was the best venue for building confidence between the people on both sides of the issue.  The Committee could play a modest role in helping the General Assembly make a decision on the issue.  In the meantime, perhaps the United Nations and other organizations could explore other ways to address the interest of the 23 million people of the Republic of China on Taiwan.

     CARLOS ENRIQUE GARCIA GONZALEZ (El Salvador) said that since 1949 the people living on both side of the Taiwanese Strait had coexisted under two separate political systems.  Two governments had developed with jurisdiction over their respective populations.  Taiwan was a political and socio-economic reality that could not be ignored.  The 23 million people living there could not be denied. 

    He went on to say that his delegation’s position was based on the United Nations Charter and Universal Declaration of Human Rights and should not be interpreted as an initiative to divide a State or to interfere in the spirit of reconciliation.  He believed that the freedoms and wishes of the Republic of China on Taiwan must be respected and not coerced.  The United Nations had a responsibility to restore the legitimate rights of those people and to ensure that the growing tensions not become a factor of crisis.  He supported recommendations for the creation of a working group of the General Assembly to examine the unique situation of the people of Taiwan.

     JANICE CELESTINE (Grenada) subscribed to the proposal to include the item in the agenda.  Much had changed in the Republic of China on Taiwan in the last year.  The last election and the transition of power was evidence that the Republic of China on Taiwan was a democratic country.  The elected government had, therefore, a legitimate right to represent its 23 million people in international organizations.  The Republic of China on Taiwan used its vast resources for humanitarian assistance.  It had given much to the world and had enriched Western civilization and was fully committed to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  She implored the General Committee to take a fresh look at the matter. 

     JOHN DE SARAM (Sri Lanka) said his position was and had always been that there was only one China -- the People’s Republic of China.  That position had been consistent and firm.  The People’s Republic of China was the sole representative of all people of China.  Sri Lanka opposed the request for inclusion of the item.

    CRISTIAN MAQUIEIRA (Chile) said a group of countries had asked for the item to be inscribed on the agenda.  The matter had been definitively resolved by adoption of resolution 2758.  He objected to the inclusion of the item.

     WIN MRA (Myanmar) said that resolution 2758, adopted by the General Assembly, had resolved China’s representation in the United Nations.  Any attempt to include the item in the agenda was not only out of place, but bound to fail again, as in years past.  The question of Taiwan was purely an internal affair of China.  He supported the position of the representative of the People’s Republic of China. 

    PHAKISO MUCHOCHOKO (Lesotho) recalled that over the years the item had been rejected by the Committee for inclusion on the agenda of the General Assembly.  Resolution 2758 resolved the question for all time.  Placing the item on the agenda would constitute interference in the internal affairs of a Member State.  Lesotho, therefore, did not support the inclusion of item 183 on the agenda of the fifty-fifth session of the General Assembly.

    JOHN DEADY (Ireland) reiterated his country’s adherence to the principle of one China and regarded the question settled by resolution 2758.  He did not support the inclusion of the item on the agenda.

    MARIA DEL PILAR ESCOBAR (Mexico) said she supported the territorial integrity of China and saw no reason to question resolution 2758.  Therefore, she did not support the inclusion of the item on the agenda. 

    ASTONA BROWNE (Saint Kitts and Nevis) said her Government was acutely aware of the divergence of views on the matter before the Committee and wouldn’t sit in judgement on the longstanding issue.  The Chinese people could resolve the issues that confronted them.   The United Nations could provide, however, a venue to advance the discussions on the question.  For that reason, she supported inclusion of item 183 on the draft agenda.

    ISSOUF OUMAR MAIGA (Malawi) said that once again the Committee had come together address the issue of membership of the Republic of China on Taiwan to the United Nations.  He wished to remind delegates that the Republic of China on Taiwan had made it clear that it only represented the 23 million people on its island. 

    He went on to say that it was his strong belief that, based on the principles of universality enshrined in the United Nations Charter, the Organization should acknowledge Taiwan’s accomplishments.  It was important to note that the two Koreas were now showing the world that nations that had been separated for years could coexist and even pursue a dialogue towards reconciliation.  In fact, both North and South had been represented in the United Nations for years, so it was hard to understand why the Organization had not recognized the Republic of China on Taiwan.  The United Nations was the only organization that could build confidence between the two sides.  Therefore, the Committee should seriously consider the inclusion of the item on the agenda of the fifty-fifth General Assembly.

    TUVAKO MANONGI (United Republic of Tanzania) said that over the years, his delegation had appealed to the Committee to turn down consideration of the item.  That position remained unchanged.  He remained convinced that the current dialogue was an attempt to undermine resolution 2758.  The Committee should strive not to put into question the territorial integrity of the People’s Republic of China.

    DENNIE M.J. WILSON (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines) said that just discussing the issue of Taiwan and the People’s Republic of China made people fidgety.  Therefore, it was the duty of the United Nations to serve as a forum for fostering mutual understanding and goodwill between the two sides, as well as within the international community.  Indeed, the reconciliation could be conducive to peace and security within the region. 

    He went on to say that today the United Nations stood at 189 Members and that it was imperative to give the people of the Republic of China on Taiwan a sense of pride, belonging and independence by making them the 190th Member State.  Having not resolved the issue was a gross oversight that needed to be corrected, and the time was now. 

     MOHAMMED AL-HUMAIMIDI (Iraq) said that a request was being repeated once again, despite the fact that it failed every time it was submitted.  The attempt to include the item was an attempt to intrude into the internal affairs of a member country.  The international community took its decision regarding representation of the people of China in its resolution 2758.  The Government of China was the sole representative of the people of China.  His delegation rejected the inclusion of the item on the agenda of the fifty-fifth session of the General Assembly.

     FAYSSAL MEKDAD (Syria) said in 1971 the Assembly had adopted resolution 2758 by an overwhelming majority.  Inclusion of the item was not consistent with the provisions of the United Nations Charter or the contents of the resolution.  His delegation reiterated the position that recognized one China -- the People’s Republic of China -- and supported its representative’s position.  He opposed inclusion of the item.

     JE RYONG HONG (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) said that the issue of representation of China at the United Nations had been resolved in 1971.  It was his consistent position that the sole representative of the people of China was the People’s Republic of China.  He opposed inclusion of the item.

    MARTHINUS C.J. VAN SCHALKWYK (South Africa) said that his country established official relations with the People’s Republic of China after the adoption of the General Assembly’s resolution 2758 in 1971, and ended official relations with Taiwan at that time.  South Africa regarded the question of Taiwan as an internal matter to be resolved by the Chinese people themselves.  In view of that, his Government could not support inclusion of the item on the agenda.

    JAMALEDDIN HAMIDA (Libya) said that since 1971, when the General Assembly adopted by an overwhelming majority its resolution 2758, the issue of China’s representation in the United Nations was categorically resolved.  The Government in Beijing was the sole representative of all Chinese people.  His Government reiterated its opposition to inclusion of the item, as it had in previous sessions.  He appealed to those sponsoring the item to desist, so that the Chinese could resolve the matter themselves.

    PAULO CORDEIRO (Brazil) said that his Government believed that resolution 2758 provided the definitive resolution to the question.  Therefore, he could not support inclusion of the item on the agenda.

    GENNADI M. GATILOV (Russia Federation) said he supported the Government of China as sole representative of the people of China.  The matter did not require review.  Russia was against the membership of Taiwan in the United Nations, or in any other organization whose membership consisted of sovereign States.

    ANZHELA KORNELIOUK (Belarus) said her country was in favour of the territorial integrity of the People’s Republic of China, the sole legitimate representative of China in the world.  Taiwan was not a sovereign State, and so it couldn’t be included in the membership of the United Nations.  She, therefore, opposed inclusion of the item on the agenda.

    ALISHER VOHIDOV (Uzbekistan) said that his country supported resolution 2758 as well the principle of “one China” in all of the aspects of laws and government.  The item under discussion should, therefore, not be placed on the agenda of the fifty-fifth session of the General Assembly.

     DONALD S. HAYS (United States) said the policy of the United States towards China had been consistent and clear over the course of the last 28 years and the terms of six Presidents.  President Clinton’s administration, like every administration since President Nixon, had repeatedly reaffirmed that policy at the highest levels.  There were three pillars of his country’s position on China:  a “One China” policy; cross-Strait problems should be resolved peacefully; and that it should be done through dialogue.

     MICHELLE JOSEPH (Saint Lucia) reiterated support for the one-China policy. Resolution 2758 defined and conferred on the People’s Republic of China the legitimacy of representation of its people.  She opposed inclusion of the item.

     RAFAEL DAUSA CESPEDES (Cuba) said the provisions of resolution 2758 remained in force and were fully relevant.  Any attempts to revise the resolution would be a violation of international law and would create a very serious precedent.  He recalled the need to respect the most sacred principles of international law and, therefore, the item should not be included.

    CONSTANTINE MOUSHOUTAS (Cyprus), supporting the position of the People’s Republic of China, said that his delegation was not in favour of inclusion of the item on the agenda of the fifty-fifth session of the General Assembly, out of respect for the sovereignty of States enshrined in the Charter.  He also felt that resolution 2758 had settled the issue of the representation of China definitively. 

     AHCENE KERMA (Algeria) said that his delegation had always felt that this question had been resolved conclusively by General Assembly resolution 2758.  That resolution had indeed made it possible to restore the rights of the People’s Republic of China, thus confirming the principle of a single China.  The refusal of successive General Committees to include the issue on any General Assembly agenda only demonstrated the determination of a large number of Member States to abide by the spirit and letter of the resolution. Certain delegations, nevertheless, feel that the Republic of China on Taiwan should enjoy a solution which had been applied in the past to a certain number of cases.  But that similarity had not been acknowledged or agreed upon and, thus, that solution should be rejected.  For all those reasons, the issue under debate should not be included in the agenda of the fifty-fifth General Assembly.

    SHAHDAT HOUSSAIN (Bangladesh) said that his delegation’s position had always been consistent on the item.  It was a pity that this year, like previous years, the situation of the Republic of China on Taiwan had to be deliberated once again.  When General Assembly resolution 2758 had been adopted in 1971 the question had been solved once and for all -- the People’s Republic of China represented China in the United Nations and all its subsidiary bodies.  As that fact had already been established, there was no need to consider acceptance of the inclusion of the current item.

    Mr. ROUSHDY (Egypt)said that his Government had been the first State in the Middle East to recognize that the People’s Republic of China represented all the Chinese people, more than 45 years ago.  Therefore, it was appropriate to reiterate that the People’s Republic of China was the one legitimate Government and Taiwan was an indivisible part of mainland China.  He looked forward to the day that all the people of China would be united under one nation.  Thus, he opposed inclusion of the item.

    JOSEFA G. COELHO DA CRUZ (Angola) said the question must be settled by the two governments involved.  There was, therefore, no reason to include the item in the agenda.

    VOLODYMYR G. KROKHMAL (Ukraine) said that the People’s Republic of China was the only legitimate government of China, which included the territory of Taiwan.  It was opposed to the inclusion of the item on the agenda.

    ISSOUF O. MAIGA (Mali) said that his delegation fully supported the integrity of the People’s Republic of China.  The question was settled by resolution 2758 and its provisions remained in force.  They, therefore, opposed inclusion of the item on the agenda.

    OUCH BORITH (Cambodia) said that Cambodia has always regarded the question of the province of Taiwan as an internal matter of China.  With resolution 2758, the General Assembly affirmed the one China principle in an exact manner.  Cambodia, therefore, strongly rejected any move to include the item in the agenda of the fifty-fifth General Assembly.

     GORAN B. STEVCEVSKY (The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia) said consideration of the item should not be delayed.  It was in the interest of the Organization to have the 23 million people of the Republic of China on Taiwan participate in the work of the United Nations.  His Government supported inclusion of the item.

     ALISON DRAYTON (Guyana) said she was opposed to inclusion of the item.  There was only one China -- the People’s Republic of China -- and Taiwan was an integral part of China.  She objected strongly to the proposal to include the item.

    Mr. YESSENBAYER (Kazakhstan) said he supported the position of the representative of the People’s Republic of China.  Taiwan was a part of China and the question of Taiwan was an internal affair of China.

     MAURO POLITI (Italy) said the question of the representation of China had been decided by resolution 2758.  The Government of the People’s Republic of China was the only representative of the Chinese people.  It was the responsibility of the Government of the People’s Republic of China to pursue a dialogue between its people.  He opposed inclusion of the item.

     STEWART ELDON (United Kingdom) said that although the United Kingdom welcomed the fact of a democratic election in Taiwan, he was not convinced of the arguments in favor of inclusion of the item.  He opposed inclusion.

    Mr. JOUVIA (Mozambique) reiterated his commitment to the principles of the United Nations Charter, and, in that regard, said that the issue currently being debated had been settled by the General Assembly in 1971.

    ZAMIRA TOHTOHODJAEVA (Kyrgyzstan) supported the position of the People’s Republic of China and opposed including the item on Taiwan in the General Assembly’s agenda out of respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of China, as well as the provisions outlined in resolution 2758.

    FRANCOIS ALABRUNE (France) said that his delegation’s position was based on respect for resolution 2758.  He, therefore, recognized Taiwan as an integral part of Chinese territory and was not in favour of including the item on the agenda of the fifty-fifth General Assembly.

    ALFRED MOUNGARA-MOUSSOTSI (Gabon) agreed with the overwhelming majority of Member States that there was only one China.  The General Assembly had decided that the People’s Republic of China would be the only legitimate representative of the nation’s people, thus excluding Taiwan.  The question before the Committee was, therefore, not worthy of inclusion in the agenda on the fifty-fifth General Assembly. 

    HOANG CHI TRUNG (Viet Nam) said that it had been his country’s consistent policy to uphold the principles of the United Nations as enshrined in the Charter, namely respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of nations.  His delegation therefore consistently pursued the “one China” policy.

    ALOUNKEO KITTIKHOUN (Lao People’s Democratic Republic) said that the question was not new and as usual his Government was against placing the item on the agenda for two main reasons.  China has always been one nation and the separation was due to temporary circumstances only.  The Chinese people alone should deal with the matter.  The second reason was that resolution 2758 very correctly resolved the issue. 

    M. AL-HADDAD (Yemen) said that her delegation could not agree to the tabling of the item under discussion, being in agreement with resolution 2758 adopted in 1971. 

     OTHMAN JERANDI (Tunisia) said that there was only one China.  Resolution 2758 settled the matter once and for all.  He was, therefore, against the inclusion of the item on the agenda.

    Mr. BOUDINE (Djibouti) said that including the item on the agenda was not consistent with the previous actions of the Assembly.  His delegation, as in years past, would oppose the inclusion of the item on the agenda of the fifty-fifth session of the General Assembly.

    TASHI TSERING (Bhutan) was opposed to the inclusion of the proposed item.

    TSERENPIL DORJSURSEN (Mongolia) believed that there was no compelling reason for the inclusion of the item.  The Assembly, by its resolution 2758 in 1971, had restored the lawful right of the People’s Republic of China and had settled the issue of the representation of its people in the United Nations.

     SHAMSHAD AHMAD (Pakistan) noted the long debate on the proposal to include the item.  Taiwan was an integral part of China, and no amount of debate could alter that reality.  Taiwan, as part of China, had no right whatsoever to join the United Nations.  Pakistan, like most others, believed that any attempt to include the item would constitute a violation of the Charter.  The yearly debate was wasteful.  The time needed to be devoted to more substantive issues.  He strongly opposed the proposal for the inscription of the item.

     The Committee decided not to recommend the inclusion of the item in the agenda of the fifty-fifth session.

    Role of Diamonds in Fuelling Conflict

     Mr. ELDON (United Kingdom) said the reasons for proposing the item had been expressed in a letter to the General Assembly a while ago.  The President of Sierra Leone had earlier today strongly supported the inclusion of the item. 

    This was not a single track process.  He had taken note of the proposals from a number of quarters.  The group of countries in the Kimberly Working Group, among others, was looking at several proposals.  Given the wide range and nature of the issue, the item should be allocated to the plenary of the General Assembly.

     The Committee decided to include the item on the agenda.

    * * * * *