Thu, Apr 18, 2019 - Page 3 News List

European lawmakers urge Taiwan’s WHA inclusion

Staff writer, with CNA

The heads of Taiwan friendship groups in the European Parliament and the parliaments of Germany, France and the UK on Monday expressed support for Taiwan’s participation in the upcoming World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva, Switzerland.

In a joint letter addressed to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the parliamentary groups asked that Taiwan not be excluded from the world health body, saying that it was unfair to deny the 23 million people of Taiwan access to the global disease prevention system.

“Taiwan has been excluded from the 70th and 71st WHA in the past two years and its participation in the WHO technical meetings has also been restricted, which has created serious gaps in the global health security system,” the groups wrote.

“With Taiwan’s advanced medical research and continued improvement in its disease prevention capabilities in line with International Health Regulations, its meaningful participation in the WHO is of vital importance to the global health network,” they added.

The heads of the friendship groups also noted Taiwan’s long-standing commitment to global disease prevention efforts, saying that, for example, Taiwan was quick to announce a donation of US$1 million to the WHO to help fight the resurgence of the deadly Ebola virus last year.

Unfortunately, that donation was blocked due to politically driven interference, the lawmakers said.

They asked Tedros to facilitate Taiwan’s presence at this year’s WHA — the decisionmaking body of the WHO — which is to be held from May 20 to May 28.

The letter was signed by Nigel Evans and Lord Rogan, cochairs of the British-Taiwanese All-Party Parliamentary Group; Klaus-Peter Willsch, chairman of the German-Taiwan Parliamentary Friendship Group; Werner Langen, chairman of the European Parliament Taiwan Friendship Group; and Jean-Francois Cesarini, a French National Assembly deputy and head of the French Senate’s Taiwan Friendship Group.

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