Gap opens in global disease prevention as Taiwan excluded 

your say May 20, 2017 01:00

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The World Health Organisation (WHO) has yet to invite Taiwan to attend the upcoming 70th World Health Assembly (WHA), scheduled for May 22-31 in Geneva, Switzerland.

This is the first time since 2009 that Taiwan has been excluded from participating. Taiwan’s absence is of grave concern since it unleashes a potential risk to public health and the well-being of the international community. This is because disease knows no boundary, and the fight to prevent its spread brooks no absence of any party. 

The government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) has expressed deep regret over not being invited to attend. As a member of the international community, the people of Taiwan have the right to participate in international health-related events and activities, including those under WHO. Given Taiwan’s continued contribution to global health and disease prevention, Taiwan should not become, nor be made to be, a gap in the global disease prevention network. Taiwan has invested over US$6 billion in international medical and humanitarian aid efforts that have benefited millions of people directly or indirectly in over 80 countries since 1996.  

The ROC government and people of Taiwan are particularly grateful to the United States, Japan, Canada, European countries and other like-minded nations and diplomatic allies that have spoken in support of Taiwan’s participation.   

Wu-Chiao Hsieh 

Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Thailand