RSF calls on the UN again to accredit Taiwanese media

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls again on the United Nations to authorise Taiwanese journalists and media to cover its events, including the World Health Assembly in Geneva by the end of May.

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) urges the United Nations again to let Taiwanese journalists and media cover its events, particularly the World Health Assembly in Geneva which takes place this year between May 20 and 28, the 74th annual General Assembly from September 17 to 30 in New York and the 40th International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Assembly from September 24 to October 4 in Montreal. In recent years, the UN has been under pressure from China to turn down requests for press accreditation from Taiwanese nationals and media on the pretext that Taiwan and its passport are not recognised.

“The current ban 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. “Accrediting bona fide journalists and media is not a political move and should not depend on their nationality or the geographical origin of the outlet they represent,” he added.

The island of Taiwan, over which the People’s Republic of China claims sovereignty, is the most populous state that is not a UN member with around 23 million people. 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 2018, Taiwanese journalists were denied, for the second consecutive year, accreditation to cover the World Health Assembly hosted in Geneva. The same also happened during the 2016 trienal Assembly hosted by ICAO.

Taiwan is currently ranked 42nd out of 180, the highest in Asia, in the 2018 RSF World Press Freedom Index. China falls at 176 with more than 65 journalists and citizen journalists in its prisons.