Voice from the Commonwealth
Commentary, World Views and Occasional Rants from a small 'l' libertarian in Massachussetts

"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams

Friday, May 23, 2003

I still find it amazing that China gets a free diplomatic pass to carry on like this.

The United Nations, under pressure from China, barred a top Taiwan diplomat on Friday from entering its New York headquarters to hold a news conference.

The move was the latest blow to Taiwan's long campaign for acceptance at the United Nations. Its membership in the world body has been resisted by China, which considers Taiwan a rebel province that must eventually be reunited with the motherland. Andrew Hsia, director-general of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in New York, was set to discuss Taiwan's handling of the SARS virus and its bid for observer status at the World Health Organization with journalists at the U.N. Correspondents Association, or UNCA, whose offices are inside the U.N. headquarters compound.

Despite assurances from U.N officials that he would be allowed entry, two U.N. security guards stopped Hsia at the main entrance as tourists streamed past. Hsia was barred on direct instructions from U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, according to U.N. officials. Hsia's planned briefing ''triggered a protest by the Chinese mission that the secretary-general felt was worth responding to, and that was his decision,'' Annan's chief spokesman, Fred Eckhard, told reporters.

The United Nations generally does not interfere with the U.N. press corps' freedom to invite guests for briefings onto the premises. Representatives of Ireland's Sinn Fein, Chechen militants and Afghanistan's Taliban have all addressed UNCA without problem.

Yasser Arafat is allowed to stand in front of the General Assembly with a pistol strapped to his side. Murderers and thugs like Mugabe are not barred from attending UN functions. Libya heads a Human Rights Commission that is made up of some of the most oppressive regimes on Earth. And a diplomat from democratic Taiwan is specifically barred by Kofi Annan. The UN is a shameful and petty organization that ignores the worst of its members and in fact gives these oppressors more power on a world stage.

< email | 5/23/2003 03:27:00 PM | link

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