Text: H.R.1151 — 113th Congress (2013-2014)All Information (Except Text)

Text available as:

Shown Here:
Public Law No: 113-17 (07/12/2013)

[113th Congress Public Law 17]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]

[[Page 479]]

                         TAIWAN OBSERVER STATUS

[[Page 127 STAT. 480]]

Public Law 113-17
113th Congress

                                 An Act

    To direct the Secretary of State to develop a strategy to obtain 
observer status for Taiwan at the triennial International Civil Aviation 
    Organization Assembly, and for other purposes. <<NOTE: July 12, 
                         2013 -  [H.R. 1151]>> 

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. <<NOTE: 22 USC 3303 note.>> CONCERNING THE 
                              PARTICIPATION OF TAIWAN IN THE 
                              INTERNATIONAL CIVIL AVIATION 

    (a) Findings.--Congress makes the following findings:
            (1) Safe, secure, and economical international air 
        navigation and transport is important to every citizen of the 
        world, and safe skies are ensured through uniform aviation 
        standards, harmonization of security protocols, and expeditious 
        dissemination of information regarding new regulations and other 
        relevant matters.
            (2) Direct and unobstructed participation in international 
        civil aviation forums and programs is beneficial for all nations 
        and their civil aviation authorities. Civil aviation is vital to 
        all due to the international transit and commerce it makes 
        possible, but must also be closely regulated due to the possible 
        use of aircraft as weapons of mass destruction or to transport 
        biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons or other dangerous 
            (3) The Convention on International Civil Aviation, signed 
        in Chicago, Illinois, on December 7, 1944, and entered into 
        force April 4, 1947, established the International Civil 
        Aviation Organization (ICAO), stating ``The aims and objectives 
        of the Organization are to develop the principles and techniques 
        of international air navigation and to foster the planning and 
        development of international air transport so as to . . . meet 
        the needs of the peoples of the world for safe, regular, 
        efficient and economical air transport.''.
            (4) The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, 
        demonstrated that the global civil aviation network is subject 
        to vulnerabilities that can be exploited in one country to harm 
        another. The ability of civil aviation authorities to 
        coordinate, preempt and act swiftly and in unison is an 
        essential element of crisis prevention and response.
            (5) Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, 
        the ICAO convened a high-level Ministerial Conference on 
        Aviation Security that endorsed a global strategy for 
        strengthening aviation security worldwide and issued a public 
        declaration that ``a uniform approach in a global system is 
        essential to

[[Page 127 STAT. 481]]

        ensure aviation security throughout the world and that 
        deficiencies in any part of the system constitute a threat to 
        the entire global system,'' and that there should be a 
        commitment to ``foster international cooperation in the field of 
        aviation security and harmonize the implementation of security 
            (6) The Taipei Flight Information Region, under the 
        jurisdiction of Taiwan, covers 180,000 square nautical miles of 
        airspace and provides air traffic control services to over 1.2 
        million flights annually, with the Taiwan Taoyuan International 
        Airport recognized as the 10th and 19th largest airport by 
        international cargo volume and number of international 
        passengers, respectively in 2011.
            (7) Despite the established international consensus 
        regarding a uniform approach to aviation security that fosters 
        international cooperation, exclusion from the ICAO since 1971 
        has impeded the efforts of the Government of Taiwan to maintain 
        civil aviation practices that comport with evolving 
        international standards, due to its inability to contact the 
        ICAO for up-to-date information on aviation standards and norms, 
        secure amendments to the organization's regulations in a timely 
        manner, obtain sufficient and timely information needed to 
        prepare for the implementation of new systems and procedures set 
        forth by the ICAO, receive technical assistance in implementing 
        new regulations, and participate in technical and academic 
        seminars hosted by the ICAO.
            (8) On October 8, 2010, the Department of State praised the 
        37th ICAO Assembly on its adoption of a Declaration on Aviation 
        Security, but noted that ``because every airport offers a 
        potential entry point into this global system, every nation 
        faces the threat from gaps in aviation security throughout the 
        world--and all nations must share the responsibility for 
        securing that system''.
            (9) On October 2, 2012, Taiwan became the 37th participant 
        to join the United States Visa Waiver program, which is expected 
        to stimulate tourism and commerce that will rely increasingly on 
        international commercial aviation.
            (10) The Government of Taiwan's exclusion from the ICAO 
        constitutes a serious gap in global standards that should be 
        addressed at the earliest opportunity in advance of the 38th 
        ICAO Assembly in September 2013.
            (11) The Federal Aviation Administration and its counterpart 
        agencies in Taiwan have enjoyed close collaboration on a wide 
        range of issues related to innovation and technology, civil 
        engineering, safety and security, and navigation.
            (12) The ICAO has allowed a wide range of observers to 
        participate in the activities of the organization.
            (13) The United States, in the 1994 Taiwan Policy Review, 
        declared its intention to support Taiwan's participation in 
        appropriate international organizations and has consistently 
        reiterated that support.
            (14) Senate Concurrent Resolution 17, agreed to on September 
        11, 2012, affirmed the sense of Congress that--
                    (A) meaningful participation by the Government of 
                Taiwan as an observer in the meetings and activities of 
                the ICAO will contribute both to the fulfillment of the 
                ICAO's overarching mission and to the success of a 

[[Page 127 STAT. 482]]

                strategy to address aviation security threats based on 
                effective international cooperation; and
                    (B) the United States Government should take a 
                leading role in garnering international support for the 
                granting of observer status to Taiwan in the ICAO.
            (15) Following the enactment of Public Law 108-235, a law 
        authorizing the Secretary of State to initiate and implement a 
        plan to endorse and obtain observer status for Taiwan at the 
        annual summit of the World Health Assembly and subsequent 
        advocacy by the United States, Taiwan was granted observer 
        status to the World Health Assembly for four consecutive years 
        since 2009. Both prior to and in its capacity as an observer, 
        Taiwan has contributed significantly to the international 
        community's collective efforts in pandemic control, monitoring, 
        early warning, and other related matters.
            (16) ICAO rules and existing practices allow for the 
        meaningful participation of non-contracting countries as well as 
        other bodies in its meetings and activities through granting of 
        observer status.

    (b) Taiwan's Participation at ICAO.--The Secretary of State shall--
            (1) develop a strategy to obtain observer status for Taiwan 
        at the triennial ICAO Assembly--next held in September 2013 in 
        Montreal, Canada--and other related meetings, activities, and 
        mechanisms thereafter; and
            (2) instruct the United States Mission to the ICAO to 
        officially request observer status for Taiwan at the triennial 
        ICAO Assembly and other related meetings, activities, and 
        mechanisms thereafter and to actively urge ICAO member states to 
        support such observer status and participation for Taiwan.

    (c) Report Concerning Observer Status for Taiwan at the ICAO 
Assembly.--Not later than 30 days after the date of the enactment of 
this Act, the Secretary of State shall submit to Congress a report, in 
unclassified form, describing the United States strategy to endorse and 
obtain observer status for Taiwan at the triennial ICAO Assembly and at 
subsequent ICAO Assemblies and at other related meetings, activities, 
and mechanisms thereafter. The report shall include the following:
            (1) A description of the efforts the Secretary of State has 
        made to encourage ICAO member states to promote Taiwan's bid to 
        obtain observer status.

[[Page 127 STAT. 483]]

            (2) The steps the Secretary of State will take to endorse 
        and obtain observer status for Taiwan in ICAO and at other 
        related meetings, activities, and mechanisms thereafter.

    Approved July 12, 2013.


SENATE REPORTS: No. 113-42 (Comm. on Foreign Relations) accompanying 
S. 579.
            June 18, considered and passed House.
            June 27, considered and passed Senate.


Share This Section