United Nations

A/53/145


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

8 July 1998

ORIGINAL:
ENGLISH



  
                                                        A/53/145
       
                                                        Original: English
       

General Assembly       
Fifty-third session


       Request for the inclusion of an item in the provisional agenda
                        of the fifty-third session


         Need to review General Assembly resolution 2758 (XXVI) of
           25 October 1971 owing to the fundamental change in the
           international situation and to the coexistence of two
                   Governments across the Taiwan Strait


     Letter dated 8 July 1998 from the representatives of Burkina Faso,
      El Salvador, the Gambia, Grenada, Liberia, Nicaragua, Sao Tome
    and Principe, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Senegal, Swaziland
        and Solomon Islands to the United Nations addressed to the
                            Secretary-General


                      Upon the instruction of our respective Governments, we
have the honour to request you, pursuant to rule 13 of the rules of procedure
of the General Assembly, to include an item in the agenda of the fifty-third
session of the Assembly entitled "Need to review General Assembly resolution
2758 (XXVI) of 25 October 1971 owing to the fundamental change in the
international situation and to the coexistence of two Governments across the
Taiwan Strait". Pursuant to rule 20 of the rules of procedure of the General
Assembly, we attach an explanatory memorandum (see annex I) and a draft
resolution (see annex II).


                          (Signed) Michel Kafando
                  Permanent Representative of Burkina Faso
                           to the United Nations
                                                          
                  (Signed) Ricardo G. Castaneda-Cornejo
                  Permanent Representative of El Salvador
                            to the United Nations

                  (Signed) Baboucarr-Blaise Ismaila Jagne
                  Permanent Representative of the Gambia
                            to the United Nations

                         (Signed) Robert E. Millette
                     Permanent Representative of Grenada
                            to the United Nations

                         (Signed) Famatta Rose Osode
                           Charge' d'affaires a.i.
                 Permanent Mission of the Republic of Liberia
                            to the United Nations

                     (Signed) Enrique Paguaga Fernandez
                   Permanent Representative of Nicaragua
                            to the United Nations

                     (Signed) Domingo Augusto Ferreira
                           Charge' d'affaires a.i.
                 Permanent Mission of Sao Tome and Principe
                            to the United Nations

                        (Signed) Herbert G. V. Young
       Permanent Representative of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
                            to the United Nations

                          (Signed) Ibra Deguene Ka
              Permanent Representative of the Republic of Senegal
                            to the United Nations

                    (Signed) Moses Mathendele Dlamini
           Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of Swaziland
                            to the United Nations

                         (Signed) Rex Stephen Horoi
                Permanent Representative of Solomon Islands
                            to the United Nations


                                   Annex I

                           Explanatory memorandum


     1.  Since the division of China almost half a century ago, two
         Governments have ruled over the two parts of China

     The Republic of China, founded in 1912, was divided in 1949 as a result
of civil war. In that same year, the People's Republic of China was
established in Beijing, and the Government of the Republic of China moved to
Taiwan. Since then, the Republic of China and the People's Republic of China
have coexisted as two parts of China, with neither subject to the other's
rule.

     Over that half century, each side has developed its own political
systems, social values and foreign relations, an exceptional situation in the
international community. In these circumstances, the concept of "governmental
succession" under traditional international law is not at all applicable to
the case of the Republic of China.


     2.    Resolution 2758 (XXVI) adopted by the General Assembly in 1971
           violates the spirit of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

     The Republic of China, a charter Member of the United Nations,
participated conscientiously in all the activities of the Organization
from 1945 to 1971. However, in 1971, as a result of the adoption of resolution
2758 (XXVI) by the General Assembly, the Republic of China's seat in the
United Nations was transferred to the People's Republic of China. That action
had the effect of depriving the Government and the people of the  Republic of
China of their right to participate in the activities of the United Nations
and related agencies, as well as in other important international
organizations.

     For example, the Republic of China is not allowed to participate in the
World Bank or International Monetary Fund. During the recent East Asian
financial crisis, it was therefore unable to work formally with neighbouring
countries to attenuate the severity of the crisis. In the health field, an
outbreak of enteroviral infection attacked children in Taiwan in May and June
of this year, resulting in 52 deaths and hundreds of cases of severe
complications. Because it is not a member of the World Health Organization,
another result of resolution 2758 (XXVI), the people of the Republic of
China were left alone to fight against the virus.

     The United Nations, as the focal organization for global involvement in
virtually every field, including the environment, disarmament, international
law, drug control, human settlements, sustainable development and the
protection of human rights, requires the participation and cooperation of all
nations in order to provide sound and universally beneficial solutions. The
United Nations is the forum where the opinions of world citizens are voiced
and policies developed. However, the voice of the people of the Republic of
China is not heard.

     This denial of these rights violates the spirit of the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations in 1948, which
advocates that "Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth
in this Declaration ... Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis
of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or
territory to which a person belongs".


     3.    The Republic of China meets all requirements for membership
           in the United Nations

     The Republic of China has a defined territory, a population of 21.8
million (greater than that of two thirds of the Members of the United
Nations), and a Government which has the capacity to fulfil international
obligations. It therefore meets all prerequisites for statehood.

     In addition, the Republic of China on Taiwan is a strong global economic
power. The following statistics speak for themselves: twentieth largest
economy in terms of gross national product, at over $285 billion; fourteenth
most important trading nation; a prime global investor and the second largest
investor in East Asia; one of the top holders of foreign exchange reserves;
and a per capita gross domestic product income, at purchasing power parity, of
$15,370.

     The Republic of China also has an exemplary record of altruistic aid in
donations and technical assistance to developing nations. Over the years it
has sent over 10,000 experts to train technicians all over the world,
especially in Asia, the South Pacific, Latin America and Africa, to help
develop their agricultural, fishery and livestock industries. It has also
provided over $130 million in disaster relief throughout the world in the past
several years and has even contributed indirectly to the United Nations call
for aid during the Persian Gulf War and for the relief and rehabilitation 
of children in Rwanda.

     Currently the Republic of China is contributing capital to regional
development programmes through institutions such as the Asian Development
Bank, the Central American Bank for Economic Integration, the Inter-American
Development Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

     From these major indicators, it is clear that the Republic of China has
been playing a positive role in the international community, a fact which
merits recognition by the United Nations.


     4.    The international situation has changed fundamentally in
           the past quarter century, as has the political orientation 
           of the Republic of China


     Resolution 2758 (XXVI) was a product of ideological confrontation during
the cold war era, when both the Republic of China and the People's Republic of
China were claiming to be the sole legal Government of China. The cold war has
ended, with constructive dialogue and negotiation having replaced the hostile
confrontation of the past.

     Following a series of political reforms that have made it a true
democracy, the Republic of China today embraces a political philosophy
that is totally different from that which it espoused in the years immediately
preceding and following its exclusion from the United Nations. It is
determined to find a solution to the question of China's division by
peaceful means. As to its return to the United Nations, the Government has
made it clear that it no longer claims to represent all of China, but
that it seeks representation only for its 21.8 million people.


     5.    Parallel representation in the United Nations by the two
           sides of a divided nation poses no barrier to unification, 
           indeed, it can be conducive not only to unification but 
           also to regional security and world peace

     As a global organization, the United Nations should not ostracize any
member of the global village. The cases of the now unified East Germany
and West Germany and the still divided South Korea and North Korea serve as
precedents for parallel representation of divided nations in the United
Nations. The exchanges between the two parts of Germany via the United Nations
and other international organizations undoubtedly contributed to their
peaceful unification in 1990.

     Since their separation half a century ago, the Republic of China and the
People's Republic of China have developed under two different systems of
political and social values. Until unification is achieved, the Republic of
China is entitled to have its own representation in the United Nations. In the
meantime, however, the People's Republic of China does not in any way
represent the 21.8 million people of the Republic of China.

     The geographic location of the Republic of China makes it a focal point
of the Asia-Pacific region, so its sense of security and its commitment to
cooperation and peace are critical to the stability of the region as a whole.


     6.    The General Assembly should address the unjust situation
           created by the adoption of resolution 2758 (XXVI) and restore 
           to the people of the Republic of China their lawful right to
           participate in the United Nations and all of its activities

     The perpetuation of resolution 2758 (XXVI) is the main obstacle barring
the Republic of China from the United Nations. It totally ignores the
fact that China has been divided into two separate political entities and that
each of them exercises jurisdiction over a portion of Chinese territory.

     A review by the General Assembly of its resolutions is not without
precedent. In 1950, the General Assembly adopted resolution 386 (V) to
overturn resolution 39 (I), which had barred Spain's participation in the
activities of the United Nations. The revocation in 1991 of resolution 3379
(XXX) is another example.

     In the current international situation, the continued exclusion of the
Republic of China from the United Nations is archaic, unjust and unwarranted.
The resolution that perpetuates this exclusion must be reviewed, with a view
to restoring to the 21.8 million people of the Republic of China their right
to participate in all the activities of the United Nations.


                               Annex II

                           Draft resolution


     The General Assembly,

     Reviewing its resolution 2758 (XXVI) of 25 October 1971 on the
representation of China at the United Nations and noting that, as a result of
that resolution, the Republic of China on Taiwan, which represents 21.8
million Chinese people, has been excluded from the United Nations,

     Recognizing that, since 1949, China has been divided and that since that
time two separate Governments have been exercising jurisdiction over
their respective parts of China, that is, mainland China and Taiwan,

     Acknowledging that the Republic of China is a responsible member of the
international community, with a fully democratic system and a strong, dynamic
economy, whose participation in the United Nations would benefit the
international community, 

     Observing that the geographic location of the Republic of China on Taiwan
makes its national security vital to the stability of the East Asian and
Pacific regions, 

     Mindful of the fact that, while seeking to participate in the United
Nations, the Republic of China continues to espouse hope for the eventual
reunification of China, 

     Affirming the obligation of the global community to recognize and fully
respect the fundamental rights of the 21.8 million Chinese people who
are under the jurisdiction of the Republic of China,

     Noting the declaration of the Government of the Republic of China that it
accepts without condition the obligations laid down in the Charter of the
United Nations and that it wishes sincerely to contribute to the promotion and
maintenance of international peace and security,

     Decides to revoke the part of the decisions contained in its resolution
2758 (XXVI) excluding the Republic of China from the United Nations and
to allow the Republic of China on Taiwan to participate in the United Nations,
thereby restoring to the Government and the people of the Republic of China
all their lawful rights at the United Nations and in all the organizations
related to it.

                            -----

 

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