Diplomatic allies urge WHA observer status for Taiwan

A proposal urging Taiwan’s participation in the World Health Assembly as an observer was submitted by 14 of the country’s diplomatic allies to Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs May 20.
The government and people of Taiwan sincerely appreciate the backing of Belize, Haiti, Honduras, Kingdom of Eswatini, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Paraguay, Solomon Islands, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and Grenadines and Tuvalu, the MOFA said.
Such support is in line with global recognition of the fact Taiwan Can Help achieve the WHO’s primary objective of Health For All, the ministry said. Politics must not come before global health, and Taiwan must not be barred from the activities, mechanisms and meetings of the WHO, the MOFA added.
Taiwan’s absence from the WHA since 2017 has jeopardized the rights of its people to health and created a serious gap in the global health security system, the proposal said, adding that the country’s inclusion will benefit the WHO and all related parties, as well as help realize U.N. Sustainable Development Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.
Backing for Taiwan’s WHO participation is flowing in from around the world. Letters and statements have been penned by lawmakers and officials from Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, Columbia, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Estonia, the EU, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Mexico, Peru, Slovakia, the U.K. and U.S.
President Tsai Ing-wen also added her voice to the growing global chorus of support. In a special video message released May 20 via Facebook and Twitter, Tsai said Taiwan’s WHA exclusion is unjustified, and the international health network should not be limited by the political agenda of a single country.
The WHA is the annual meeting of the governing body of the WHO. Taiwan is excluded from the 72nd edition running May 20-28 in Geneva at the request of Beijing citing the “one China policy.” (SFC-E)
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