Tue, Mar 27, 2018 - Page 3 News List

NGOs aim to host exhibition near WHO

‘HOSPITAL WITHOUT BORDERS’:The organizers want to convey the message that medical treatment knows no borders and Taiwan cannot be absent from global efforts

By Lu Yi-hsuan and Sherry Hsiao  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

A group of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) has launched a crowdfunding campaign to host an exhibition near the WHO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, ahead of the World Health Assembly (WHA) in May to showcase the value, achievements and contributions of Taiwan’s public healthcare system.

The exhibition, titled “Hospital Without Borders,” is scheduled to take place from May 19 to May 21, ahead of the 71st WHA from May 21 to May 26.

The Taiwan United Nations Alliance, which has long been pushing for the nation’s participation in the WHO, this year asked Netizen Productions and the Tyzen Hsiao Culture and Education Foundation to cohost the display, exhibition co-curator Wang Yi-kai (王奕凱) said.

They hope to send a message to the international community that “medical treatment knows no borders and that Taiwan would not be absent” from the global effort and discussion, he said.

Netizen Productions in 2015 designed the Taiwan pavilion at the World Expo in Milan, Wang said.

Called a “project of citizen diplomacy” by its creators, “One Pavilion to Go” was set up after Italian authorities offered Taiwan a corporate, rather than national, pavilion at the international event, leading the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to withdraw Taiwan from the exposition.

The cohosts hope that their efforts would help more people to understand and see the reality of China’s suppression of Taiwan in the international community, alliance president Michael Tsai (蔡明憲) and alliance spokesperson Tseng Tsung-kai (曾琮愷) said on Sunday.

The exhibition’s organizers had raised about NT$94,033 as of press time last night on the crowdfunding Web site Zeczec.

They have also invited Taiwanese band TPE48 to endorse the campaign.

The Taiwan Medical Association, Taoyuan General Hospital physician Chen Hou-chuan (陳厚全) and others in the medical field have also expressed their support for the campaign.

After being invited to the WHA as an observer for eight consecutive years since 2009, Taiwan last year did not receive an invitation, likely as a result of Beijing’s efforts to limit Taiwan’s international space after the Democratic Progressive Party administration took office in May 2016.

Taiwan’s chances of being invited to the WHA this year are slim, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) and Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) have said.

Chen would lead a delegation to Geneva even if Taiwan does not receive an invitation, the government has said.

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