Ministry voices regret over lack of WHA invite – 台北時報

Ministry voices regret over lack of WHA invite – 台北時報

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday expressed “deep regret and dissatisfaction” that Taiwan had yet to receive an invitation to the 75th World Health Assembly (WHA), which is set to take place in Geneva, Switzerland, in three days.
“We find it deeply regrettable that the WHO has once again failed to remain professional and politically neutral to extend an invitation to Taiwan,” ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) told a news conference in Taipei.
The WHO has disregarded the widespread international support for Taiwan’s participation as an observer in the organization’s decisionmaking body, which is necessary and urgent, in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, she said.
Photo: Lu Yi-hsuan, Taipei Times
The upcoming assembly, which runs from Sunday to Saturday next week, would be the first in-person WHA since the start of the pandemic.
Ou said that 13 of the nation’s diplomatic allies that are WHO members had sent a proposal to the WHO Secretariat to include a discussion on the nation’s possible inclusion in this year’s assembly as a supplementary item.
Related discussions over the matter are to be held during the session, she added.
Regardless of whether Taiwan is invited to attend this year’s WHA, Deputy Minister of Health and Welfare Lee Li-feng (李麗芬) and other government officials would travel to Geneva to share Taiwan’s healthcare experience on the sidelines of the annual event, as Taiwan has done in the past, she said.
Ou said it is unlikely at this point that Taiwan would receive an invite before the event starts.
“Apparently, the WHO has no intention of giving a response on the widespread international support for Taiwan,” she said.
The Republic of China was expelled from the WHO in 1972, one year after losing its seat in the UN. It was able to send delegations to participate in the WHA as an observer under the designation “Chinese Taipei” from 2009 to 2016, when relations between Beijing and Taipei were warmer during the then-Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) administration.
Since 2017, Taiwan has been excluded from the WHA due to opposition from China, which has taken a hard line against President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and her Democratic Progressive Party.
On Wednesday, the US urged the WHO to invite Taiwan to the annual assembly, saying that the pandemic requires universal cooperation.
“We strongly advocate for the WHO to invite Taiwan to participate as an observer [in the WHA] and lend its expertise to the solution-seeking discussions,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.
As the world continues to fight COVID-19 and other emerging health threats, “Taiwan’s isolation from the pre-eminent global health forum is unwarranted and undermines inclusive global public health cooperation,” he added. “We will continue to support Taiwan’s membership in international organizations where statehood is not a requirement.”
More than 1,500 lawmakers from 34 countries, including members of the European Formosa Club, on Wednesday jointly signed a letter to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in support of Taiwan attending the WHA, and participating in activities and meetings hosted by WHO.
Additional reporting by AFP
REACHING OUT: President Tsai expressed condolences to the deceased man’s family and wished a speedy recovery to those who were wounded in the shooting The Formosan Association for Public Affairs (FAPA) on Monday called on the US to label organizations associated with the suspect in the Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian Church shooting as domestic terrorists, following accusations that he was a member of a group backing unification with ties to the Chinese government. David Wenwei Chou (周文偉), 68, was arrested on Sunday and is being held in lieu of US$1 million bail at the Orange County Intake Release Center over a mass shooting at the California church that left one dead and five wounded. Local police suspect the shooting was politically motivated after they found notes in
NO CONSENSUS YET: Local governments and the CECC have agreed to change the ‘3+4’ self-isolation policy, but are still mulling what to replace it with The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) and local governments have agreed to ease restrictions on close contacts of COVID-19 cases, although the details are still being discussed, the center said yesterday. The discussions follow Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) on Saturday approving a proposal to shorten the “3+4” policy — three days of home isolation followed by four days of self-disease prevention — for close contacts who have received booster doses. “We did not reach a consensus on how to revise the current restrictions, but we all agreed that the administrative burden must be reduced and the intensity of restrictions must be eased,
OPPOSING CHINESE ‘HOSTILITY’: The bill orders the state secretary to create a plan to regain observer status for Taiwan, saying Taipei is a model contributor to world health US President Joe Biden on Friday signed a bill into law to help Taiwan regain observer status at the World Health Assembly (WHA), demonstrating Washington’s support for Taiwan’s international participation. Friday was the deadline for Biden to sign the bill (S.812), which directs “the Secretary of State to develop a strategy to regain observer status for Taiwan in the World Health Organization (WHO), and for other purposes.” The 75th WHA, the decisionmaking body of the WHO, is scheduled to meet in Geneva, Switzerland, from Sunday next week to May 28. The bill, introduced by US Senator Bob Menendez, chairman of the US Senate
LIVING WITH COVID-19: Close contacts with a booster shot would no longer follow the ‘3+4’ policy, instead practicing ‘0+7,’ or self-disease prevention for seven days Close contacts of COVID-19 cases who have received a booster shot no longer need to isolate at home, but should practice seven days of “self-disease prevention,” effective today, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that starting at 12am today, close contacts — people living in the same household — of those confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 are exempt from home isolation if they have received a booster shot of a COVID-19 vaccine. Data from other countries show that people who have received a booster shot are

source


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.