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Cablegate: Un Debate On Taiwan Membership

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OO RUEHBZ RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUCNDT #0773/01 2632110
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 202110Z SEP 07
FM USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2614
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS PRIORITY
RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 1471
RUEHGB/AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD PRIORITY 0601
RUEHJL/AMEMBASSY BANJUL PRIORITY 0079
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 0871
RUEHLM/AMEMBASSY COLOMBO PRIORITY 0207
RUEHCO/AMEMBASSY COTONOU PRIORITY 0132
RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR PRIORITY 0203
RUEHOR/AMEMBASSY GABORONE PRIORITY 0067
RUEHHE/AMEMBASSY HELSINKI PRIORITY 0486
RUEHKH/AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM PRIORITY 0885
RUEHKG/AMEMBASSY KINGSTON PRIORITY 0202
RUEHKI/AMEMBASSY KINSHASA PRIORITY 1295
RUEHKR/AMEMBASSY KOROR PRIORITY 0100
RUEHKL/AMEMBASSY KUALA LUMPUR PRIORITY 0629
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 1156
RUEHMN/AMEMBASSY MONTEVIDEO PRIORITY 0148
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW PRIORITY 1028
RUEHBH/AMEMBASSY NASSAU PRIORITY 0084
RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA PRIORITY 1026
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 1050
RUEHPL/AMEMBASSY PORT LOUIS PRIORITY 0108
RUEHRK/AMEMBASSY REYKJAVIK PRIORITY 0123
RUEHTG/AMEMBASSY TEGUCIGALPA PRIORITY 0129
RUEHIN/AIT TAIPEI PRIORITY 0059

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 USUN NEW YORK 000773

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C O R R E C T E D C O P Y ADDED THREE ADDRESSES

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E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL UNGA CH TW
SUBJECT: UN DEBATE ON TAIWAN MEMBERSHIP

REF: USUN 741

USUN NEW Y 00000773 001.6 OF 003


1. (U) Summary: When determining the agenda for the 62nd UN
General Assembly September 19, the General Committee
considered whether to include the agenda item "Urging the
Security Council to process Taiwan's membership application
pursuant to provision rules of procedure 59 and 60."
Following a procedural vote ,24(U.S.)-3, in favor of the
traditional two-plus-two speaking arrangement on the matter,
St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the Solomon Islands spoke
in favor of inscribing the item, while China and Egypt spoke
against. The Chair (UNGA President Kerim) subsequently ruled
that because there was no agreement, the General Committee
would not recommend the inscription of this agenda item onto
the Agenda of General Assembly. General Committee members
Gambia, Honduras and Palau objected to the two-plus-two
speaking arrangement. Following the Committee's
consideration of the item, Gambia again took the floor and
said those states who favored Taiwan's membership in the UN
had every right to raise the issue in the General Assembly
and promised "this issue will not die a natural death." End
Summary

2. (U) The General Committee of the General Assembly met
September 19 to consider which items would be inscribed on
the UNGA agenda and to which UNGA committee they would be
allocated. When the Committee reached the proposed agenda
item "Urging the Security Council to process Taiwan's
membership application pursuant to provision rules of
procedure 59 and 60," the Chair attempted to recall the
agreement reached during informal consultations to address
this matter via a two-plus-two speaking arrangement (reftel).
In recalling this informal agreement, the Chair noted that
only members of the General Committee were permitted to take
the floor. In response, Palau accused the Chair of failing
to apply rule 43 of the General Assembly's rules of
procedure, which states that members who request that an item
be included can attend and participate in the General
Committee meeting.(Explanatory Note: The Chair had proposed
limiting the debate on the speaking arrangement to the
members of the General Committee. Only members of the
General Committee can determine procedures, such as speaking
arrangements, for the committee. Rule 43 permits UN member
states who are not members of the Committee to participate in
substantive discussion of the item that members request to
inscribe. It was not clear in the subsequent discussion
whether or not delegations were genuinely confused by this
rule. End Note.)

3. (U) Palau's intervention sparked an exchange of views on
the speaking arrangement. Nineteen delegations spoke in
favor of the two-plus-two speaking arrangement (Sri Lanka,
Cyprus, Russia, Iraq, Benin, Jamaica, Mauritius, Sudan,
Malaysia, Senegal, Egypt, Uruguay, the Bahamas, Turkey,
France, Finland, Botswana, the DRC, Iceland). In addition to
Palau, Gambia and Honduras spoke against this arrangement.
Sri Lanka explained that Rule 43 permitted member states who
are not members of the Committee to speak in favor of
inscribing the agenda item according to the two-plus-two
formula. Sudan went further than most, stating that Taiwan
is an integral part of China. Although it was clear a
majority supported the proposed speaking arrangement, the
chair called for a vote and the procedure was adopted by
24-3-0. (Note: The USG voted for the two-plus-two speaking
arrangement. End Note.)

4. (U) Following the debate on the speaking arrangement, the
four speakers took the floor. St. Vincent and the Grenadines

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spoke first in favor of inscription the item calling for the
UN's consideration of Taiwan's membership, and argued that
the committee was flouting procedure and marginalizing small
states with the two-plus-two procedure. The representative
argued that under Article 4 of the UN Charter, the Taiwanese
qualify for membership to the United Nations. Recalling that
Secretary-General Ban had rejected a July 19th application

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for Taiwan's UN membership as unreceivable, the
representative of St. Vincent also noted that UN's Office of
Legal Affairs had stated the UN considers Taiwan an integral
part of the People's Republic of China. She accused the
Secretariat of taking a role as arbiter of political issues.

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The representative regretted that member states are content
to ignore the plight of 23 million Taiwanese. When the Chair
reminded her to keep to the agreed six-minute limit for
speeches,she expressed strong dissatisfaction, claiming that
the UN is limiting debate on this critical issue.

5. (U) The representative of the Solomon Islands followed
and spoke in support of inscription. He also criticized the
alleged lack of observation of rules and procedures by the
Committee. He argued that the General Assembly must listen to
both sides of this argument, even if it means examining the
legality of UNGA Resolution 2758 (1971). He stated that the
Taiwan policy is out of touch with current geopolitical
realities and undermines the established principle of
self-determination. He argued that although the UN has dealt
with similar divisions in Korea and Germany, it pretends that
Taiwan does not exist.

6. (U) As agreed, a representative from the PRC (China's
Security Council coordinator Li Junhua) then spoke in
opposition. He made three points: 1) Taiwan has been part of
China since antiquity; 2) those who advocated Taiwan's
independence are the "biggest threat to peace and security"
in the region; and 3) UNGA consideration of this matter would
violate the UN principles of respect for state sovereignty
and territorial integrity. The Chinese representative
concluded: "this is purely an internal affair to be resolved
by the Chinese people."

7. (U) Egypt also spoke in opposition, basing the GOE's
position on UNGA Resolution 2758 (1971). Egyptian PermRep
Amb AbdelAziz said that inscription of this proposal in the
General Assembly would be a waste of time and resources, and
that the democratic decision taken by the committee should be
respected. Responding to previous criticism by St. Vincent
on the marginalization of small states, Egypt stated that
there is no distinction between large and small countries;
each country has one vote.

8. (U) Following the interventions, the Chairman concluded
that the item would not be inscribed in the agenda due to the
lack of agreement to do so. The representative from Gambia
then attempted to return to the issue of Taiwan, stating that
countries have "every right" to raise this matter in the
General Assembly. He characterized opposition to
consideration of Taiwan's membership as "political
apartheid." China, raising a point of order, noted the
Committee had concluded consideration of this issue. After
the Chairman recalled the previous discussion on the matter,
the representative from Gambia ceded the floor by stating
that the issue "will not die a natural death."

9. (U) The General Committee Report to the General Assembly
(i.e, the organization of work, the adoption of agenda and
the allocation of items to committees as recommended by the
General Committee) is scheduled to be considered by the

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Plenary on September 21. The Chinese are asking selected
delegations to vote in favor of the program of work and to
speak out in opposition to any attempt to amend the program
to inscribe the agenda item on Taiwan. The Chinese have
requested delegations to vote against inscription, if a vote
is forced on the issue.
KHALILZAD

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