WHO decides against Taiwan’s WHA participation

Taipei--The general committee of the 70th World Health Assembly (WHA) on Monday ruled that a proposal on inviting Taiwan to participate in the WHA as an observer will not be included on the conference's provisional agenda due to China's strong opposition.

The proposal, which requested the WHA, the decision-making body of the World Heath Organization, to include the Taiwan-related issue on the agenda of the WHA meeting, was brought forth by 11 formal diplomatic allies of Taiwan.

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Palau voiced support for Taiwan's attempt to attend the annual WHA meeting, which kicked off Monday, but the proposal was rejected during the General Committee's meeting after a debate, mainly due to opposition from China and Cuba.

During the meeting, a Chinese representative said Taiwan has attended the WHA as an observer for the last eight years based on the "one-China principle" as the prerequisite for Taiwan's participation at the conference.

This was a special arrangement, made through cross-Taiwan Strait consultations, and Taiwan's exclusion from this year's WHA session was due to the Taiwan government's rejection of the "one-China principle," according to the representative.

The representative from St. Vincent and the Grenadines voiced support for including the issue of inviting Taiwan to attend this year's WHA on the agenda, saying that if the proposal was rejected, St. Vincent would protest against the decision.

The representative said China's claim that Taiwan is part of the mainland is disputable because Taiwan has its own elections and is a founding member of the United Nations.

China's claim that the invitation was in line with the "one-China principle" as reflected in U.N. General Assembly Resolution 2758 was not factual because the resolution does not clearly state that China is represented by the government of the People's Republic of China, the representative said.

Meanwhile, a representative from Palau also expressed support for Taiwan's 23 million people, saying their right to health should be protected.

In response, Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the diplomatic allies' support shows the unreasonable treatment Taiwan has endured and the necessity of its participation in the WHO.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel