British and US representatives during a WHO meeting on Friday voiced support for Taiwan’s participation in the global health organization, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
“We recognize the need to strengthen vaccine confidence, and to address the role of mis- and disinformation. Accelerating vaccine uptake and demand is critical to achieving COVID-19 vaccination goals, to future emergency responses and to ongoing efforts to combat vaccine-preventable diseases,” said Loyce Pace, assistant secretary for global affairs at the US Department of Health and Human Services.
“In this regard, the United States appreciates the example of Taiwan in its COVID-19 response as well as its support to many around the world. We urge WHO to be fully inclusive of all partners, including Taiwan, as we take our collective work forward in responding to global health emergencies,” she said.
According to information provided by the ministry, Danny Andrews, head of the health division at the British Permanent Mission to the UN Office in Geneva, Switzerland, told Friday’s meeting that “we also stress the inclusivity in WHO’s governance, given the impact of global health emergencies, we must draw on all voices and everyone with experiences to share to deal with health emergencies.”
Diplomatic ally the Marshall Islands expressed gratitude to Taiwan during the meeting.
“The Marshall Islands wishes to extend its most sincere gratitude once again to the WHO, and the numerous donor countries and partners such as the United States, the Republic of China (Taiwan) for their continued support and assistance to the Marshall Islands,” said Samuel Lanwi, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Marshall Islands to the UN Office in Geneva.
The ministry said that over the past few days allies, including St Kitts and Nevis, Nauru, Haiti, Honduras and Paraguay, have voiced support for Taiwan joining the WHO as an observer.
Officials representing Japan and the EU have also called on the WHO to be more inclusive.
Hiroki Nakatani, an adviser from the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, said that “it is important not to make a geographical vacuum by creating a situation where a specific region cannot join WHO as an observer of WHA,” referring to the World Health Assembly, the decisionmaking body of the WHO.
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