Chaime Marcuello Servós
Professor University of Zaragoza
e travel in the same space ship. We are passengers on planet Earth where global problems have local effects and vice versa. In addition to climate change and other environmental issues, we should also be concerned about the effective enforcement of Human Rights and the prevention of security risks in all their dimensions.
In this respect the International Criminal Police Organisation (INTERPOL) is today the most useful and effective platform for international cooperation between police of different states. However, for purely political reasons, a country like the Republic of China (Taiwan) has been ignored by this body for 37 years. This has created a deep rift in the international security network that INTERPOL seeks to establish.
Taiwan is strategically located in the Indo-Pacific region. With some 50 million people using its international airport, this small island acts as a nexus for the flow of people, goods and money. It has become an indispensable part of the global security system, especially with regard to the prevention of money laundering and cybercrime. It cannot and should not be ignored by the international community, as it has been to date.
On top of this, it is now clear that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought about profound changes in our way of life and hundreds of previously unimaginable situations, both in professional and everyday life. A growing dependence on cybertechnology exposes us to a large extent to the crimes that proliferate online, that transcend borders and that are, more than any other type of crime, only combattable with transnational collaboration and the participation of all.
Taiwan, a leader in ‘cyber-technology’, cannot remain on the sidelines in the control of this type of crime. One of the main dangers facing Taiwanese society today is the ongoing disinformation campaigns, fake news and cyber-attacks from China, a threat that is difficult to combat without global resources. A recent report by the US NGO Freedom House ranks Taiwan fifth in the world for Internet freedom. However, Taiwan lacks adequate access to international criminal intelligence, and due to its absence from the INTERPOL network it is forced to seek and acquire up-to-date criminal intelligence through bilateral channels, clearly hampering the effectiveness of the international security network.
On 20 October, the European Parliament adopted a report on Taiwan entitled “EU-Taiwan Political Relations and Cooperation”, which reaffirms the European Union’s (EU) support for Taiwan’s meaningful participation as an observer in international organisations such as the World Health Organisation (WHO), the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and INTERPOL itself. Taiwan is now excluded from all of these for purely political reasons.
This is the first time in history that the European Parliament has adopted a report dealing entirely with EU-Taiwan relations. The document emphasises the importance the EU attaches to security in the Taiwan Strait and calls on like-minded partners throughout the region to work together to maintain peace and stability in that part of the world.
Through the efforts of various countries, Taiwan is gaining an increasing presence in the international community, but its presence is still insufficient. Situations continue to arise that are difficult to accept and justify, such as its absence from the aforementioned bodies, all of which are essential for the optimal functioning of our global village.
The INTERPOL General Assembly meeting, to be held in Turkey from 23-25 November, is an excellent opportunity for the international community to finally and firmly support Taiwan’s attendance at such a crucial meeting for global security. Only in this way will it be possible to safeguard much-needed global security and justice.
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