The Taiwanese government has urged the Philippines to endorse or help it obtain membership or observer status in the International Criminal Police Organization and in the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.
Ambassador Michael Peiyung Hsu, representative of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in the Philippines, made the call after the Interpol earlier rejected its request to be allowed to participate in the ongoing 88th General Assembly of Interpol in Santiago, Chile from Oct. 15 to 18.
“Taiwan is willing and able to make the world safer. I hereby call on the Philippine government and its people to voice your endorsement of Taiwan’s participation in the annual Interpol General Assembly as an Observer, as well as meetings, mechanisms and training activities organized by the Interpol and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime,” Peiyung Hsu said, in a statement.
“Only by doing so will the gap and breach in the global security network be filled and a safer world be created,” he added.
Peiyung Hsu lamented that the Taiwanese police force were disallowed from accessing key intelligence information from Interpol’s I-24/7, a global police communication system and stolen and lost travel documents database, when it can help the global fight against transnational crimes.
“However, Taiwan’s efforts in fighting cross-border crime are seriously hampered due to its exclusion from the Interpol. Although Taiwan seeks to acquire updated criminal information through bilateral channels, countries are often reluctant to cooperate because of political factors,” he said.
“Interpol is the world’s largest international police organization, enabling police around the world to work together to make the world a safer place. Regrettably, Taiwan is not invited to attend the 88th General Assembly, and has been barred from accessing key intelligence information instantly shared through the I-24/7, a global police communications system and stolen and lost travel documents database,” the TECO official added.
“Taiwanese police could not connect to the I-24/7 system to provide timely criminal information to other countries, creating a gap in the global law enforcement network, hampering efforts to capture members of the transnational crime syndicate, and causing financial losses to people in numerous countries,” he further said.
Peiyung Hsu noted that Article 2 of Interpol’s Constitution states the organization’s aim, which is “to ensure and promote the widest possible mutual assistance between all criminal police authorities…”
“As transnational organized crime presents a serious threat and daunting challenge to almost every country, the cooperation of police agencies from all over the world is needed, and Taiwan’s participation is essential to the realization of this objective,” the Taiwanese official stressed.
Besides, he emphasized that Taiwan serves as a key hub connecting Northeast and Southeast Asia, and there are nearly 68.9 million travelers were recorded to have been entering, leaving, or transiting through Taiwan in 2018. He also cited the 2018 Global Peace Index published by Australia’s Institute for Economics and Peace, which ranked Taiwan 34th out of 163 countries worldwide with regard to safety and was listed 31st worldwide in terms of reliability of police services in the Global Competitiveness Report 2018.
The Taiwanese official also cited that in 2017, Taiwan’s police agency made 130 requests to other countries seeking information or assistance in investigations, but received responses in only 46 cases.