MOFA shrugs off Haiti’s non-support for UN bid

By Jenny W. Hsu
Taipei Times
Thursday, Sep 04, 2008, Page 3

“We understand that it would put Haiti in an awkward position.”
— Henry Chen, MOFA spokesman

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday that Haiti’s expression of non-support for Taiwan’s UN bid was hardly surprising given China’s role in the UN peacekeeping mission in Port au Prince.

“Haitian President Rene Preval has already expressed his regrets to President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) over the situation,” ministry spokesperson Henry Chen (陳銘政) said.

The Chinese-language China Times reported yesterday that after Paraguay’s announcement that it would reverse course by not supporting Taiwan’s UN request this year, Haiti followed suit and made the same announcement.

Chen said it was understandable that Haiti could not display any public support for Taiwan because it needed the support of the UN peacekeeping mission. Aside from being a part of the peacekeeping mission, China is also a member of the UN Security Council, which has a decisive role in Taiwan’s bid to join the world organization.

“We understand that it would put Haiti in an awkward position, so we did not even approach Haiti,” Chen said.

The ministry also said it would not interfere in Paraguay’s internal affairs in response to another China Times report yesterday that Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo had refused to support Taiwan’s UN bid because the previous administration allegedly misused Taiwanese aid.

ABC Digital, an online newspaper based in Asuncion, said Taiwan gave US$1.6 million to the former first lady, Gloria Penayo de Duarte, to establish a nonprofit organization — Oga Mimbi — to provide shelters for street children.

The report accused Penayo of closing the foundation when her husband stepped down, dumping more than 150 children on the streets. The furniture was removed, leaving the office empty, the report said.

The ministry said any alleged scams committed by Paraguay’s officials were Paraguay’s concern and Taiwan would not get involved.

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