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Taiwan welcomes EP support for ICAO bid

Taiwan welcomes EP support for ICAO bid

Taiwan is grateful to members of the European Parliament for their backing of its efforts to attain observer status in the International Civil Aviation Organization, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said July 12.

According to the MOFA, the EP Taiwan Friendship Group chaired by Charles Tannock is sending a letter signed by parliamentarians to ICAO Secretary General Raymond Benjamin petitioning the organization to admit Taiwan as an observer.

As of July 7, the MOFA said, the petition campaign had collected 79 signatures of members representing 20 countries serving on the EP’s foreign affairs, transportation, tourism and other committees. More EP members are expected to add their signatures to the petition after the parliament’s summer break.

The letter states that Taiwan’s civil aviation authorities have full responsibility for administering the Taipei Flight Information Region—one of the busiest air transport hubs in Asia. To ensure the highest standards of air safety worldwide, ICAO cannot afford to exclude Taiwan from participation in its activities, according to the MOFA.

Closing the Taipei FIR hole in the ICAO’s global information network will benefit travel industries and economic development, which is in the EU’s basic interests, the MOFA said the letter stated.

In 2009 Taiwan gained observer status at the World Health Assembly, the U.N. World Health Organization’s decision-making body, setting an example for ICAO and other U.N.-affiliated agencies, the MOFA added.

Lawmakers in several other countries—including Australia, Columbia, the EU and U.S.—had passed resolutions or laws demanding their governments take steps to support Taiwan’s quest for meaningful participation in ICAO.

The triennial ICAO Assembly is scheduled to meet Sept. 24 to Oct. 4 in Montreal, Canada.


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