Lawmakers across party lines yesterday issued a joint statement calling for Taiwan’s participation in the WHO and its decisionmaking body, the World Health Assembly (WHA), and urging the global health body to make a distinction between Taiwan and China.
Given Taiwan’s proximity to China, the nation should be allowed to participate in the WHO and the WHA to safeguard public health and allow it to work more closely with other nations in containing COVID-19, the statement said.
The WHO has a vision of a world where all people can attain the highest possible standard of health, and that no one should be left behind in the pursuit of the universal value of guaranteeing health for all, it said.
Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times
As such, the WHO should resolutely defend its mission and not allow China to compromise the rights of Taiwanese to enjoy the highest level of health and sanitation because of political reasons, or erroneously designate Taiwan as part of China, which has prompted some countries to impose entry or port call bans on Taiwan, it said.
The Legislative Yuan sternly condemns China’s obstruction of Taiwan’s participation in the WHO and the WHA, and urges the WHO to correct the nation’s designation and exclude it from China, it said.
Taiwan is a provider of international medical aid and has vast experience in implementing national healthcare coverage, offering emergency medical aid, training health professionals, and assisting in international epidemic prevention and relief, it said.
If Taiwan can be part of the global disease-prevention network, its experience can serve as a valuable asset to other nations, thereby improving on the WHO’s disease-prevention efforts, it said.
Taiwan’s strategic location, in terms of international sea routes, commerce, finance, tourism and trade, is all the more reason why it should join global disease-
prevention efforts, it said.
At the 146th session of the WHO Executive Board from Feb. 3 to Feb. 8, Taiwan’s importance and legitimacy in a global disease prevention campaign were widely recognized, it added.
The Legislative Yuan urged the WHO to listen to the voice of the international community and work out a way to facilitate Taiwan’s inclusion in its operations, it said.
At a critical juncture of global disease prevention, the Legislative Yuan strongly supports the government’s efforts to seek participation in the WHO, including full participation in its peripheral meetings and activities, so that it can make professional and practical contributions, it said.
The Legislative Yuan demands that the government press on with the cause by seeking the support of its diplomatic allies and like-minded countries, it said.
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