Taipei, April 14 (CNA) The head of the first government delegation invited to the Our Ocean Conference (OOC) has been listed as “Taiwan” by the organizers, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) announced Thursday.
In a press release, MOFA said no reason was given to replace “Republic of China (Taiwan)” with “Taiwan” in the title of the Minister of Environmental Protection Administration ( EPA) Chang Tzi-chin (張子敬) on the OOC website.
Chang is currently leading a delegation to the 7th OCC in Palau, one of the 14 states with which Taiwan has diplomatic relations.
This is the first time Taiwan has been able to send an official delegation to the annual event, which MOFA says has pledged to take concrete and significant steps to protect the ocean.
Previously, the Taiwanese delegation participated in the OCC as an NGO only, and its EPA minister participated in the OCC in a personal capacity.
According to the conference’s official website, the Taiwanese delegation is listed as one of the participating “countries/authorities” under the name “Taiwan”.
Prior to the opening of the conference, Chang was originally identified as the EPA Minister of “the Republic of China (Taiwan)” in his biography on the conference website, which has since been changed to Minister of Taiwan EPA.
Asked to comment on the reason for the change by lawmakers during a legislative session, Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) did not give a direct answer.
Wu said it was already a major improvement for the country to be invited to the international conference as Taiwan, instead of Chinese Taipei, the designation the country normally uses in international forums at the request of the China.
He added that Chang’s title change had nothing to do with Palau, which Wu said was merely a co-organizer of the conference.
Meanwhile, MOFA spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) said event organizers failed to notify Taiwan before making changes to information about Taiwan on its official website.
In a separate press release, MOFA said Chang attended the opening ceremony of the OCC on Wednesday on behalf of Taiwan and sat alongside other representatives of foreign delegations in the “Foreign Delegation” section. “.
The conference, which is being held Wednesday and Thursday, was opened by Palau President Surangel S. Whipps, Jr. and the U.S. President’s Special Climate Envoy John F. Kerry, who are co-hosting the conference. .
In his opening speech, Whipps once again thanked Taiwan for offering its assistance to his country in hosting the international event, which will see the participation of 500 representatives of foreign governments, intergovernmental organizations, institutions academic and research, private sector and civil society organizations.
Besides being the head of the delegation, Chang is also set to deliver a keynote speech at Thursday’s session of the conference, where he will share Taiwan’s experience in combating marine pollution, the official said. MOFA.