Continued support from the country’s diplomatic allies and like-minded partners for Taiwan’s participation in the World Health Assembly, the decision-making body of the World Health Organization, is greatly appreciated, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Feb. 9.
As a responsible member of the international community, Taiwan is making significant contributions to safeguarding global public health, the MOFA said. Only by allowing all affected countries and territories to attend the global body’s activities, mechanisms and meetings can a seamless disease combatting network be in place to respond to the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak, the ministry added.
U.S. Permanent Representative to the U.N. in Geneva Andrew Bremberg spoke up for Taiwan's role combating the virus at the WHO Executive Board meeting Feb. 8. “It is a technical imperative that WHO present visible public health data on Taiwan as an affected area, and engage directly with Taiwan public health authorities on actions,” he said.
Similar sentiments were expressed by the European Parliament-Taiwan Friendship Group. In a joint letter cosigned by MEPs Anna Fotyga, Christophe Hansen, Ivan Stefanec, Jens Gieseke, Katalin Cseh, Kosma Zlotowski and Michaela Sojdrova Feb. 7, the group chairman Michael Gahler urged WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus to rectify the incorrect listing of Taiwan under China’s jurisdiction and grant Taiwan WHA observer status.
The letter follows on the heels of similar submissions to Ghebreyesus a day earlier from the British-Taiwanese All-Party Parliamentary Group, Taiwan-Latvia Inter-Parliamentary Friendship Group and Paulo Rios de Oliveira, chairman of the Portugal-Taiwan Parliamentary Friendship Group.
Other leaders, officials, parliamentarians and embassies to speak out in support of Taiwan have come from allies Belize, Eswatini, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Nicaragua, Paraguay, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, as well as like-minded partners such as Australia, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Venezuela, the EU, the U.K. and the U.S.
Taiwan participated in the annual WHA as an observer from 2009 to 2016. The government is seeking a seat at the table for the 73rd edition running May 17-21 in Geneva. (YCH-E)
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