Wed, Jul 24, 2019 - Page 1 News List

Taiwan seeking ‘dignified’ Ebola contribution: MOFA

By Lin Chia-nan  /  Staff reporter

The logo and name of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are pictured in Taipei on March 3.

Photo: Lu Yi-hsuen, Taipei Times

Taiwan is willing to help the WHO combat the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo) if it can make a contribution through “dignified” means, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) official said yesterday.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Wednesday last week declared the Ebola outbreak in the DR Congo a “public emergency of international concern.”

“It is time for the world to take notice and redouble our efforts. We need to work together in solidarity with [the DR Congo] to end this outbreak and build a better health system,” he said in a news release.

Since the first outbreak in the DR Congo on Aug. 1 last year, the WHO has classified the deadly epidemic as a level 3 emergency — the most serious.

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) in May last year announced that Taiwan would donate US$1 million to the WHO to help combat the epidemic, but the donation was “suspended” after the ministry’s seven-month negotiation with the WHO secretariat failed to reach a consensus on how to make the donation without harming the nation’s dignity, the ministry said.

Taiwan is willing and able to contribute to any global health project, but only if the WHO secretariat allows it to manifest its contribution through respected means, Department of International Organizations Director-General Bob Chen (陳龍錦) told a weekly news conference in Taipei.

The way in which the WHO refers to the nation is just one of the issues involved, he said, adding that the ministry has told the secretariat that “the door is open.”

How Taiwan is to manifest its good intention in curbing the Ebola epidemic would be determined after further discussion with concerned parties, he added.

Meanwhile, the department is pushing for Taiwan’s attendance at the meetings of many global organizations in the second half of this year, a process that includes communicating with the nation’s diplomatic allies and like-minded countries, Chen said.

The UN General Assembly is to open on Sept. 17, followed by the International Civil Aviation Organization’s assembly from Sept. 24 to Oct. 4, the International Criminal Police Organization’s assembly from Oct. 15 to Oct. 18 and the APEC economic leaders’ meeting on Nov. 16 and 17, he said.

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