HOUSTON / ATLANTA / MONROVIA

Taiwan Calls For Inclusion at the WHA

We express our deep concern regarding Taiwan's exclusion as an observer from the upcoming 77th World Health Assembly (WHA), to be convened in Geneva, Switzerland, from May 27 to June 1. The theme of this year's Health Assembly, "ALL for Health, Heal for All," ironically highlights another instance of Taiwan's unfortunate isolation from the international community. Such exclusion undermines the humanitarian ethos of the World Health Organization (WHO) and presents significant challenges to the global public health response to emerging health threats.

In solidarity with various Taiwanese-American community groups, we vehemently protest against the WHO's decision to exclude Taiwan and fervently advocate for its inclusion as a member state. Taiwan's engagement with the WHO has long been marred by political contention, mainly stemming from opposition. Since 1972, democratic Taiwan has been systematically barred from WHO participation, resulting in missed opportunities to share its wealth of professional knowledge and experience in public health and to access timely global health information. Heightened threats against Taiwan in recent times have compelled numerous democratic nations to support Taiwan's integration into international bodies vocally.

The time has come for the WHO to recognize the indispensable role of Taiwan in global health efforts and, at the very least, to grant it observer status within the organization to participate in the assembly meeting. Taiwan has consistently demonstrated its commitment to advancing global health, boasting a robust healthcare system, a pioneering pharmaceutical industry, and an exemplary track record in disease prevention. Taiwan has effectively managed the COVID-19 pandemic, registering remarkably low case and mortality rates. Given Taiwan's proven expertise in infectious disease management, its participation in the WHA would undoubtedly enrich discussions and benefit the broader international community. Taiwan's insights are invaluable in an era where the threat of new, potentially devastating pandemics looms.

Furthermore, Taiwan's contributions to the international pharmaceutical landscape promise to improve access to essential medicines, particularly in developing nations. Therefore, granting Taiwan observer status at the WHA would enable the WHO to leverage Taiwan's expertise, furthering its mandate of advancing universal health coverage and upholding humanitarianism and international equity principles.

We strongly reiterate our call for Taiwan's inclusion in the upcoming WHA and implore all stakeholders to rally behind this cause in the interest of global public health.

Yours sincerely,

The Taiwanese American Community of Houston, Texas, USA
致聯合國秘書長 安東尼奧·古特雷斯 閣下 鈞鍳

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