Washington—Representative Eliot L. Engel, Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today made the following statement regarding the decision by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to exclude individuals from Taiwan from participating in UNESCO affiliated events, including the International Centre for Theoretical Physics’ winter school:

“I am deeply troubled and disappointed that UNESCO is hiding behind unfair rules to prevent the people of Taiwan from attending an event. Regrettably, this is far from the first time international institutions have capitulated to Beijing’s political agenda and adopted policies that discriminate against Taiwan.

It is shameful that UNESCO, an organization whose mission is to build peace through international cooperation in education, the sciences, and culture, would target not just Taiwan as a government, but also individual Taiwanese. I call upon UNESCO to retract its discriminatory policies, which are contrary to the organization’s mission.

The People’s Republic of China has grown increasingly influential in the UN systema trend hastened by the Trump administration’s absence from these critical institutions and failure to exert leadership on the global stage. The United States needs to actively participate in United Nations organizations and work with our allies and partners to ensure these and all international institutions reflect the values and principles on which they were founded, and not in service of any one nation’s political agenda.

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