The strong backing of Taiwan’s participation in the activities, meetings and mechanisms of the World Health Organization by 106 parliamentarians and political figures from seven European countries is sincerely appreciated by the government and people, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Nov. 1.
According to the MOFA, Taiwan’s presence in the global public health body is in the best interest of all. Excluding the 23 million people of Taiwan from the WHO not only violates their rights but also bodes ill for global cooperation in fighting the pandemic, it said.
Such overwhelming support from European lawmakers underscores the legitimacy of Taiwan’s WHO inclusion, especially given the country’s successful COVID-19 management, the ministry said, adding that the government will continue to work with like-minded partners to take part in global health-related activities.
The MOFA’s response followed a letter sent Oct. 22 to WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stressing the importance of Taiwan’s participation. The 73rd World Health Assembly—the decision-making body of the WHO—is scheduled to reconvene Nov. 9-14 in Geneva.
The letter was jointly signed by Waldemar Andzel, chair of the Polish-Taiwanese Parliamentarian Group; Istvan Tiba, chair of the Hungary-Taiwan Parliamentary Friendship Association; Peter Osusky, chair of the Slovakia-Taiwan Parliamentary Group; and Marek Benda, chair of the Czech Republic-Taiwan Friendship Group.
Similar sentiments were also expressed in several letters sent Oct. 22-29 to the WHO secretary-general calling for Taiwan’s inclusion by 102 parliamentarians and political figures from the Baltic nations. These include Gintaras Steponavicius, Janis Vucans and Kalle Laanet from the Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia legislatures, respectively. (SFC-E)