ROC allies submit proposals for Taiwan to attend WHA

Republic of China (Taiwan) diplomatic allies have submitted proposals to the World Health Organization endorsing Taiwan's participation as an observer at the World Health Assembly, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs May 15.

The diplomatic allies have written to WHO Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan requesting Taiwan's participation as an observer at the WHA be added to the agenda of the annual meeting of the decision-making body of the WHO, the MOFA said, adding that Taiwan has the obligation�and its citizens have the right�to participate in discussions on global health and disease prevention issues, a fact reflected in the worldwide support Taiwan has received.

The ROC government takes global health cooperation very seriously, and is determined to play a role in international epidemic control efforts. As such, the ministry once again calls on the WHO to invite Taiwan to attend as an observer at the WHA May 22-31 in Geneva so as to ensure there is no gap in the global disease prevention network and all parties can work together for the advancement of human health worldwide.

According to the MOFA, the enthusiastic support of the diplomatic allies, as well as the international community, for Taiwan's participation as an observer in the WHA is greatly appreciated by the government and people of Taiwan.

The ministry's statement follows remarks by Dr. Timothy Armstrong, director of the WHO Department of Governing Bodies and External Relations, during a May 12 news conference in Geneva citing an absence of cross-strait understanding as a reason for not inviting Taiwan to attend as an observer at the WHA.

In 2009, Taiwan was invited by the WHO to take part as an observer in the annual WHA following an absence of 38 years. The country has since shared its extensive expertise in areas such as universal health care coverage and the management of contagious diseases like SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome.

Source: Taiwan Today