Why Taiwan Should Participate in WHA (World Health Assembly)

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), May 10, 2018 | Go to article overview

Why Taiwan Should Participate in WHA (World Health Assembly)


Byline: TAAGCC/FAPA-IL/NATPA-North Central Chapter

Why Taiwan Should Participate in WHA (World Health Assembly)

Taiwan was not invited to the World Health Assembly as an observer in 2017, and has not received invitation to attend the 2018 WHA. In accordance of the Constitution of the World Health Organization (WHO) "The enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being without distinction of race, religion, political belief, economic or social condition", and the UN General Assembly Resolution A/RES/70/1 states, "As we embark on this great collective journey [toward the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development], we pledge that no one will be left behind", there is no reason to exclude the 23.5 million people of Taiwan from the global health governance

For many years, Taiwan has participated actively in the WHA and WHO technical meetings, mechanisms, and activities; steadily contributed to enhancing regional and global disease prevention networks; and dedicated its utmost to assisting other countries in overcoming healthcare challenges in order to jointly realize the WHO's vision that health is a fundamental human right. Located at a key position in East Asia, Taiwan shares environmental similarities for communicable disease outbreaks with neighboring countries and is frequently visited by international travelers. This makes Taiwan vulnerable to cross-border transmission and cross-transmission of communicable disease pathogens, which could lead to their genetic recombination or mutation, and give rise to new infectious agents. Since Taiwan is unable to attend the WHA and is excluded from full participation in related WHO technical meetings, mechanisms, and activities, it is only after much delay--compared to WHO members--that Taiwan can acquire disease and medical information, which is mostly incomplete. This creates serious gaps in the global health security system and threatens people's right to health.

Furthermore, in recent years, Taiwan has successfully transformed its role on the international stage from aid recipient to assistance provider. …

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