Paraguay president backs Taiwan joining UN system

78th UNGA General Debate at UN HQ in New YorK

(Reuters) - Paraguay supports Taiwan joining the United Nations system, the South American country's president, Santiago Pena, said on Tuesday, speaking at the U.N. General Assembly (UNGA).

Due to a 1971 U.N. resolution, Taiwan has been excluded from the international body, which recognizes the People's Republic of China as the legitimate representative of China to the U.N.

"The government of Paraguay expresses its support for the Republic of China - Taiwan to be an integral part of the United Nations system," Pena said.

Paraguay is the last South American country with formal relations with Taiwan, which China claims as its own territory.

When asked about Taiwan last week, U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed said exclusion of anyone can harm global goals.

"Every person matters, whether it's Taiwan or otherwise. And I think it's really important for member states to find a solution," she said.

However, Taiwan has conceded it would be "very hard" to achieve membership.

(Reporting by Kylie Madry; Editing by Sarah Morland)