IFJ resolution calls on U.N. to end exclusion of Taiwan journalists

Taipei, June 19 2019 (CNA) The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has put forth an urgent resolution condemning the United Nations’ « discriminatory exclusion » of Taiwan journalists at this year’s World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva and demanding that the U.N. end such a policy.

« Amongst nearly 23.8 million people having been stripped of voice are also journalists, who were barred from press briefings at the Assembly for being holders of Taiwan passport and working for a bona fide media organization formally registered in Taiwan, » according to the resolution, which was among 13 urgent resolutions passed at the IFJ’s 30th World Congress held in Tunisia from June 11-14.

The resolution, proposed by the Association of Taiwan Journalists and made public on the IFJ website on June 17, points out that the Taiwan journalists who have been denied access are employed by Taiwan’s national wire service, the Central News Agency (CNA), which produces news daily in Chinese, English, Japanese and Spanish.

The resolution calls on the U.N. to stop oppressing journalists « for being who they are and for whom they chose to work and to immediately remove the term dictating applicant’s passport must be from a State recognized by the United Nations General Assembly. »

The resolution also says Taiwanese journalists should be granted media access to future events such as the upcoming U.N. General Assembly.

Ian Chen (陳益能), secretary-general of the Association of Taiwan Journalists and a member of the IFJ executive committee, told CNA that the appeal is being made to highlight that there is a legitimate and genuine media in Taiwan.

Taiwan upholds freedom of the press and media professionalism, he said.

The international community should allow Taiwan’s professional media outlets to do their work at important international events, he said, noting that CNA’s application to cover the WHA this year was rejected.

According to the Association of Taiwan Journalists, the IFJ Congress has agreed to ask the U.N. to stop suppressing journalists and to immediately remove the requirement that anyone applying for access to U.N. organizations must have a passport issued by countries recognized by the U.N. General Assembly.

Taiwan is not a member of the United Nations, which leaves it vulnerable to pressure from China whenever it tries to participate in U.N.-related events.