The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) yesterday insisted that Taiwan's participation at the World Health Assembly (WHA) in May had not been jeopardized even though the WHO had rejected its request to be an observer at the annual Executive Board meeting that began yesterday.
A Central News Agency (CNA) report from Geneva yesterday said that Taiwan failed to secure an observer position in the Executive Board meeting, which is held each January to discuss the agenda for May's assembly.
MOFA spokesman Henry Chen (陳銘政) confirmed the news, but stressed that Taiwan's exclusion from the Executive Board meeting would have no effect on its observer status at the WHA.
“We are always seeking more participation in as many WHO-related events as possible. We did pitch the request to be an observer in the Executive Board meeting in November, but the request was denied,” he said.
The only two WHA observers permitted to listen in on the meeting this year are the Holy See and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, CNA said.
The Department of Health said the “time is not yet ripe” for Taiwan to join the meeting as an observer, but pledged it would continue to work toward the goal to increase Taiwan's involvement in the WHO.
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