Mon, May 08, 2017 - Page 3 News List

WHA response measures to be explained today

Staff Writer, with CNA

The government is set to hold a news conference today to explain its response measures if the nation does not receive an invitation to attend the annual World Health Assembly (WHA) after the deadline for online registration ends today, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said yesterday.

This year’s WHA, an annual meeting of the decisionmaking body of the WHO, is to take place from May 22 to May 31 in Geneva, Switzerland, but the nation has not received an invitation from the WHO secretariat.

Since 2009, Taiwan has attended as an observer under the name “Chinese Taipei” following an agreement between the government of then-president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), Beijing and the WHO.

However, due to a cooling of cross-strait relations after President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) took office in May last year, the nation received an invitation to last year’s summit shortly before the deadline for online registration ended.

For the first time since 2009, that invitation sparked controversy because it mentioned UN Resolution 2758, WHA Resolution 25.1 and the “one China” principle underlying the two documents.

Also yesterday, the Taiwan United Nations Alliance announced that it is to hold a news conference today to outline its plans to send a promotional team to Geneva on Friday next week to lobby for the nation’s entry into the WHO ahead of its general assembly.

Following past practice, the alliance’s team would continue to promote Taiwan’s bid for membership in the WHO near the venue of the WHA this year by distributing leaflets, a spokesperson for the team said.

No new progress has been made in efforts to get an invitation to attend this year’s WHA, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday.

Despite that, several nations friendly toward Taiwan which share similar ideals, including the US and Canada, have voiced their support for Taiwan’s presence as an observer, the ministry said.

Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lee (李大維) has said that the nation will fight at full strength until the last minute for the invitation.

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