IFJ Calls for Full Access as World Health Forum Opens Door to Taiwan Journalists

The

International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has today welcomed the decision

of the World Health Organisation (WHO) to lift the five- year ban on Taiwanese journalists who will now be able cover the

World Health Assembly from 18-22 May in Geneva.

The

Association of Taiwanese Journalists

(ATJ), an IFJ affiliate, said that the WHO has given accreditation to its

members to cover this year's World Health Assembly in Geneva. However, the journalists will be

issued with the WHO green press cards instead of the UN blue ones and will not have

access to press facilities.

"We

welcome the decision of the WHO to lift this discriminatory ban on Taiwanese journalists,' said Aidan White, IFJ

General Secretary. "However, there are still some restrictions on our

colleagues, including an absurd ban on access to and use of press facilities.

The United Nations must give full accreditation rights to our colleagues in Taiwan."

Since 2004, the United Nations

(UN) Department of Public Information has refused credentials to Taiwanese journalists. The IFJ has supported the AJT

in its campaign to lift the ban and recently raised this matter with the UN

Under Secretary General for Communications and Public Information, Kiyo Akasaka,

during his visit to Brussels

in April 2009.

 

"We

made it clear that the UN double standards in its treatment of Taiwanese journalists are untenable," added White.

"The WHO decision is a step in the right direction but we look to the UN to

give full accreditation and equal rights to Taiwanese

media."

For more information contact the IFJ

at   +32 2 235 2207       

The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 123 countries worldwide