By Caribbean News Global
USA / MIAMI / TAIPEI – The World Health Assembly (WHA), will gather virtually for the 74th annual World Health Assembly (WHA), beginning on May 24, 2021 – “And yet, unless the Organization’s leadership takes appropriate action, the Assembly will once again exclude the vital participation of Taiwan,” US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, said in a press statement Friday.
“There is no reasonable justification for Taiwan’s continued exclusion from this forum, and the United States calls upon the WHO director-general to invite Taiwan to participate as an observer at the WHA – as it has in previous years, prior to objections registered by the government of the People’s Republic of China.”
“The WHA is the decision-making body of the World Health Organization (WHO) and sets the agenda for strengthening international cooperation to end the COVID-19 pandemic and advancing global health and global health security,” said, Secretary Blinken. “Global health and global health security challenges do not respect borders nor recognize political disputes.”
“Taiwan offers valuable contributions and lessons learned from its approach to these issues, and WHO leadership and all responsible nations should recognize that excluding the interests of 24 million people at the WHA serves only to imperil, not advance, our shared global health objectives”, and that “Taiwan is a reliable partner, a vibrant democracy, and a force for good in the world, and its exclusion from the WHA would be detrimental to our collective international efforts to get the pandemic under control and prevent future health crises. We urge Taiwan’s immediate invitation to the World Health Assembly.”
Amino Chin Yao Chi, director-general of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Miami, in an article titled, “Taiwan is an indispensable partner in the global fight against COVID-19”, said: “Calls have continued to come loud and clear from all parts of the world stressing the importance of a united fight against the virus. The Taiwan Model, based on our democratic experience of the COVID-19 containment, has come to set an excellent example for the rest of the world. The government of Taiwan has earned global recognition and acclaim for the series of actions it has taken to show that “Taiwan can help, and Taiwan is helping” – “We sincerely urge WHO to uphold the principles of professionalism and neutrality and include Taiwan in related WHO meetings, activities, and mechanisms.”
Dr Shih-chung Chen, minister of health and welfare, Republic of China (Taiwan) in the article titled, “Building a resilient and inclusive global health system together: Taiwan can help” detailed how Taiwan “has worked hard to maintain the balance between people’s right to know and personal privacy and freedom, actively responding to people’s wishes by upholding the principle of fairness at the same time as prioritizing the protection of disadvantaged groups, including migrant workers,” he continued. “Throughout this pandemic, Taiwan has demonstrated an emphasis on the right to health and associated protections and strong opposition to human rights abuses. Indeed, at no point has Taiwan restricted people’s right to free expression, assembly, or participation in public life.”
Emphasising the positive dimensions of Taiwan’s “robust health system, rigorous testing strategies, information transparency, and public-private partnerships,” minister of health and welfare, Dr Shih-chung Chen, said. “Taiwan’s response to COVID-19 has been one of the world’s success stories. This pandemic has proven yet again that Taiwan cannot remain outside of the global health network. Taiwan plays an indispensable role in the global monitoring and early warning systems that detect the threat of emerging infectious diseases, and the Taiwan Model has proven consistently capable of containing COVID-19.”
In furtherance of the Taiwan Model and that – Taiwan can help, and Taiwan is helping” – on a global scale, “the pandemic has also highlighted Taiwan’s capacity to research, develop, produce, and supply therapies and associated tools quickly (including two COVID-19 vaccines that are presently in Phase 2 trials),” the health minister, announced.
Meanwhile, he urged, “WHO and related parties to acknowledge Taiwan’s longstanding contributions to the international community in the areas of public health, disease prevention, and the human right to health, and to include Taiwan in WHO and its meetings, mechanisms, and activities. […] Echoing the mantra of the United Nations’ 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, no one should be left behind,” concluded, Dr Shih-chung Chen, minister of health and welfare.
Currently, 15 states recognise Taiwan; Belize, Guatemala, Haiti, Holy See, Honduras, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Nicaragua, Palau, Paraguay, Saint Lucia, St Kitts and Nevis, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Swaziland and Tuvalu.
American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), Washington headquarters, located in Arlington, Virginia, is the headquarters office of the American Institute in Taiwan. It serves as a liaison with its counterpart organization, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO), as well as with US government agencies.
Click here for the Selected Agreements between AIT and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO).