Quota on non-career diplomats appointed could be lifted

Lawmakers are scheduled to review next Monday a draft amendment that would lift the quota on non-career diplomats allowed to be appointed by the president.

According to the law governing the appointment of diplomats, the number of non-career diplomats holding the positions of ambassadors, permanent representatives and deputy permanent representatives cannot exceed 10 percent of the total.

As there are 95 such positions, it means that at any given time only nine people who are not a career foreign service officer can be appointed, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a report submitted to the Legislature.

Ruling Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Tuan Yi-kang (???), who introduced the draft amendment, said the quota should be lifted to facilitate the government's efforts to promote foreign relations and take part in international organizations.

In selecting and appointing ambassadors and permanent representatives, priority should be given to candidates who are familiar with the destination countries or have relevant experience or expertise and are willing to carry out the government's policy, Tuan said.

This is especially true when it comes to appointing ambassadors to Southeast Asian nations with different languages, religions and cultures, he added.

The foreign ministry is said to support the reform in principle, asking only that opportunities for career diplomats to be promoted to those senior positions are also taken into consideration.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel