Two official representatives from the Fishery Agency, COA were asked to leave from a conference held by Committee on Fisheries (COFI) under Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Rome, Italy (Headquarter of FAO) as a direct result of the pressure China exerted on the organization. The Council of Agriculture (COA) stated that China insisted on United Nations General Assembly Resolution No. 2758 and denied entry to any Taiwanese passport holder to enter into premises of organizations of the United Nations. Regarding such obstruction, the COA expresses deep regret and solemn protest. The Council hopes that China refrains from any action that would hurt the sentiment of the Taiwanese people, as well as jeopardize the positive development of cross-strait relations.
FAO is one of the largest specialized organizations under the United Nations, responsible for global policies for food and agriculture. A subsidiary body of the FAO Council, COFI presently constitutes the only global inter-governmental forum where major international fisheries and aquaculture policies and issues are examined. The international documents reviewed and approved by COFI are highly influential on global fisheries management. The COA pointed out that the Fishery Agency has participated in COFI sessions and relevant conferences as NGO or IGO since 2001 in order to obtain important international information.
The COA stated that the 32nd Session of the COFI took place at FAO's headquarter in Rome this year, and the Fishery Agency sent representatives to participate in the event. Nevertheless, under the pressure from China, Taiwan's officials were denied entry by UN security personnel on the claim that Taiwan is not a member of the United Nations. Although Taiwanese officials immediately filed a formal complaint to the Secretary-General of the conference while negotiating their re-entry, unfortunately their efforts proved futile under China’s political interference.
The COA stressed that China should not suppress Taiwan's participation in international organizations and conferences related to people's interests based on political ideology. This kind of behavior would only instill negative sentiment in Taiwanese people’s mind and jeopardize any positive development of cross-strait relations.