Sept. 18 (UPI) -- Banning Taiwanese journalists from covering the 73rd United Nations General Assembly is an act of "unacceptable discrimination," a leading advocacy group said.
Reporters Without Borders said in a statement issued Tuesday the U.N. should allow Taiwanese journalists access to the U.N. General Assembly and the World Health Assembly in Geneva.
"In recent years, the U.N. has been under Chinese pressure to turn down requests for press accreditation from Taiwanese nationals on the pretext that their passports are not recognized," RSF said on its site.
RSF quoted its secretary-general, Christophe Deloire, as saying Taiwanese journalists should be accredited at the U.N.
"Accrediting Taiwanese journalists is not a political move, and it avoids unacceptable discrimination that contradicts all's fundamental right to free information stated in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights," Deloire said.
RSF stated with 23 million people, Taiwan is the most populous country in the world that is also not a member of the U.N.
Taiwan's powerful rival, the People's Republic of China, is a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council and does not recognize Taiwanese sovereignty under its "One-China" Policy.
Taiwan most recently applied for U.N. admission in 2007.
Taipei's foreign ministry wants better representation, according to Taiwanese media.
The Central News Agency reported Wednesday Taiwan's diplomats want its allies to write a joint letter, urging U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to put an end to Taiwan's exclusion from the world assembly.
Taiwan still seeks to meet U.N. sustainable development goals, said Taiwanese director-general Bob Chen.
The General Assembly will take place from Tuesday through Oct. 1.