October 4, 2016
Three Co-chairs of the British-Taiwanese All Party Parliamentary Group, namely Nigel Evans of the House of Commons, and Lord Faulkner and Lord Steel of the House of Lords, issued a joint statement on October 3 expressing regret that the Republic of China (Taiwan) was not invited to take part in the 39th International Civil Aviation Organization Assembly.
In the statement, the signatories stated that they believe Taiwan’s absence from the Assembly is a great loss to the international community, and that they support Taiwan’s participation in ICAO and related regional meetings. The ROC government has expressed its appreciation for these sentiments.
The statement goes on to say that ICAO was founded aimed at “…the planning and development of international air transport so as to …meet the needs of the peoples of the world for safe, regular, efficient and economical air transport,” and because “Taiwan’s Flight Information Region (FIR) covers 180,000 square nautical miles and provides services to nearly 1.53 million controlled flights carrying 58 million traveler entering, leaving or transiting through Taiwan every year… Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport—the main international gateway—was ranked 11th and 5th, respectively, in terms of passengers and cargo volumes,” Taiwan ought to participate in the ICAO Assembly to ensure that it remains abreast of the latest international aviation transportation standards, and that it receives necessary technical and academic assistance.
Co-chair Evans was recently in Taiwan with a 10-member British parliamentary delegation. In interviews with local media, Co-chair Evans stated that although many countries had supported Taiwan’s participation in the ICAO Assembly, Taiwan was still regrettably excluded. He added that Taiwan has grown in importance over the past three years, and as such is more deserving of a place at ICAO than ever before.
For many years, the British-Taiwanese All Party Parliamentary Group has devoted its efforts to promoting UK-Taiwan relations and supporting Taiwan’s pragmatic participation in international organizations. Recent years have seen substantive relations between Taiwan and the UK grow closer. The British Parliament and government have shown their affirmation of Taiwan’s contributions to safeguarding global aviation safety, and have supported Taiwan’s participation in the ICAO. (E)