A proposal by 11 diplomatic allies of the Republic of China (Taiwan) urging the World Health Organization (WHO) to invite Taiwan to participate in the World Health Assembly (WHA) as an observer was not included in the agenda of the 70th WHA, which commenced in Geneva on May 22.
The proposal was rejected after debates in the WHA General Committee and plenary session. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) sincerely thanks the representatives of ROC diplomatic allies for proposing and speaking in favour of the motion.
MOFA also appreciates the endorsement from US Secretary of Health and Human Services, Tom Price. Such actions reflect the affirmation and support of diplomatic allies and partner countries for Taiwan’s professional and pragmatic participation in the WHO.
Swaziland, Solomon Islands, Palau, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines spoke in support of the motion, stressing the need for Taiwan to attend the WHA as an observer from the perspective of global health cooperation. They pointed out that the WHO, as a specialized organization, should not allow political factors to influence Taiwan’s participation in the WHA and related meetings, mechanisms and activities, and that human health and well-being should not be sacrificed for political reasons.
Mainland China and Cuba opposed the proposal on the grounds of the one China principle and mainland China’s claim of purview over the Taiwanese people’s right to health. Regarding mainland China’s unilateral allusion to UN Resolution 2758 and WHA Resolution 25.1, the ROC government reiterates that these two resolutions are in no way relevant to Taiwan’s professional participation in the WHO, nor can they resolve the issue of the right to health of Taiwan’s 23 million citizens.
The ROC government alone can represent its entire citizenry in international organizations and assume responsibility for the health of these 23 million citizens. Excluding Taiwan from the WHA for political reasons not only violates the WHO Constitution, but also deprives the Taiwanese people of their right to health.
MOFA once again thanks the representatives who submitted proposals and debated on Taiwan’s behalf, as well as other partner countries that supported its bid. The ROC government will continue to seek dignified participation in the WHO under the principles of professionalism and pragmatism, making every effort to play its part in global health and security, and supporting international efforts to attain the goal of leaving no one behind.