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Mr. Koïchiro Matsuura                                                                  August 17, 2004

Director General, UNESCO

UNESCO

ED/SVE/TVE

7 place de Fontenoy

F - 75352 Paris 07 SP

FRANCE

 

Dear Mr. Matsuura:

Recently, a thirteen year old Taiwanese boy, Yang Chih-yuan, from Hsinpu Junior High School, along with five others, won the UNESCO contest marking International Peace Day. Due to pressure from Beijing though, UNESCO has dropped plans to make Yang's painting into a stamp, (as earlier stipulated) because Yang's painting includes a minuscule version of Taiwan's flag. 

We are outraged to learn that UNESCO has decided to punish a boy because of Beijing's politics. There is a certain irony in the fact that Yang's stamp will now not be used to celebrate International Peace Day. “Peace” is defined as “the absence of war or other hostilities.” China's behavior is a far cry from peace, as China is bringing its blatant hostility not just to Taiwan, but to this single child. UNESCO should take a stand against such childish behavior, correct the mistake and give the Taiwanese winner his prize without discrimination.

UNESCO is an international organization that has the responsibility to represent all children of the world and not the opinions of the Chinese government. We urge you not to allow China to censor children and take away their freedom of speech and expression when these are the very issues for which UNESCO fights.

We ask that you reverse your decision.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Ming Chi Wu, Ph. D.

President, FAPA

 
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