Reporters Without Borders (RSF) urges the United Nations to let Taiwanese journalists cover its events, especially the 73rd annual General Assembly that opens today, September 18th, in New York and the World Health Assembly in Geneva next spring. In recent years, the UN has been under Chinese pressure to turn down requests for press accreditation from Taiwanese nationals on the pretext that their passports are not recognised.
“Accrediting Taiwanese journalists is not a political move. By allowing them to cover its events, the UN would put an end to this example of discrimination that contradicts the fundamental right to free information stated in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” said Christophe Deloire, secretary-general of RSF, who calls on the UN, “to accredit all journalists of good faith, regardless of their nationality or the place of origin of their media.”
The island of Taiwan, over which People’s Republic of China claims sovereignty, is the most populous state, with 23 million people, the equivalent of Australia, that is not a UN member. Over the past years, China has been lobbying in every possible way to isolate Taiwan on the international stage, including preventing its journalists from doing their job.
In May, Taiwanese journalists were denied accreditation to cover the World Health Assembly hosted in Geneva by the World Health Organization. The same thing happened during the 2016 triennial Assembly hosted by International Civil Aviation Organization, a specialised UN agency.