Fri, May 19, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Taiwan's IHR compliance moves recognized by WHO

CNA , GENEVA

Vice president of the Taiwan United Nations Alliance Twu Shiing-jer, third right, holds a press conference yesterday before leading a delegation to Geneva to promote Taiwanese WHO membership.

PHOTO: YAO CHIEH-HSIU, TAIPEI TIMES

WHO has received notification by Taiwan of its decision to implement and comply with the revised International Health Regulations (IHR) in advance, an official from the world body said on Wednesday.

Denis Aitken, an assistant director-general of the WHO, told a news conference that the information was passed on to the WHO on Tuesday by Shen Lyu-shun (沈呂巡), head of the Geneva bureau of the Taipei Cultural and Economic Delegation in Switzerland.

Aitken said Taiwan's commitment to comply with the IHR meant that it is covered by the IHR framework and that the WHO will do its best to ensure there is no gap in Taiwan's disease control and prevention efforts.

With the goal of preventing, protecting against, controlling and providing a public health response to the international spread of disease, the revised IHR was adopted by the World Health Assembly (WHA) -- the highest decision-making body of the WHO -- in May last year and is scheduled to come into force on June 15 next year.

In Tokyo, Akira Chiba, a spokesman for Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said Japan welcomed Taiwan's compliance with the IHR regardless of the fact that it is not a WHO member, a step which he said will help enhance healthcare in the region.

On Taiwan's bid to take part in the WHA as an observer, Chiba reiterated that Japan hoped that Taiwan would be able to participate in the WHA in a way that was acceptable to all concerned parties.

This year's WHA is scheduled to take place between May 22 and 27 in Geneva.

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