Taiwan has lodged a protest against the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations for excluding Taiwanese officials from a July meeting of the FAO's Committee on Fisheries (COFI), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said Wednesday.
The ministry said in a statement that it has asked Taiwan's relevant representative office to send a letter to the FAO to express the government's "stern protest" against the organization's "discriminatory treatment" of Taiwanese experts seeking to participate in the meeting.
The letter stressed that Taiwan is a major deep-sea fishing nation and has always complied with and attached great importance to international fishery norms, according to the MOFA.
The ministry said the Taiwanese representatives had hoped to contribute to the sustainable development of global marine resources with a professional and pragmatic attitude, and urged the FAO to make decisions that benefit all parties.
The ministry statement came after news broke Wednesday that two Taiwanese officials were rejected from the COFI's 32nd session in July in Italy, allegedly due to pressure from China.
It was the first time such an incident had occurred at a COFI meeting since 2003, when Taiwanese officials began participating as NGO members or experts, Chen Tain-shou (???), head of Taiwan's Fisheries Agency, said Wednesday, confirming local media reports on the matter.
The COFI is a subsidiary body of the FAO Council and a global inter-governmental forum that examines major international fishery and aquaculture problems.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel