Taiwan has been invited to attend next month’s World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva as an observer, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday.
Minister of Health and Welfare Chiu Wen-ta (邱文達) will lead the Taiwanese delegation, which will again be represented in the assembly under the name “Chinese Taipei,” said Tom Chou (周台竹), head of the foreign ministry’s Department of International Organizations.
The 67th assembly scheduled for May 19 to May 24 will discuss the connection between climate and health, and Chiu will deliver a speech related to the theme at the event, Chou said.
On the WHO’s use of “Taiwan, Province of China” to refer to Taiwan in internal correspondence, Chou said the government cannot accept the practice and will continue to write to the WHO to protest the designation.
Taiwan began to participate in the WHA, the top decisionmaking body of the WHO, as an observer under the name “Chinese Taipei” in 2009, an arrangement subject to annual renewal with China’s consent.
The nation had previously been prevented from attending the proceedings because of opposition from China.
Participating in the WHA meeting as an observer means Taiwan would have no voting rights in the assembly or at the WHO.
Observers are granted speaking rights at the WHA meeting, but can attend only the meetings and committee sessions during the annual two-week conference.