WHA action team receives high praise for 2019 achievements

  • Date: 2019-05-30
  • Source: Department of Information Services, Executive Yuan

Premier Su Tseng-chang on Thursday said that health advocacy and disease prevention know neither boundaries nor borders, and such work requires the cooperative efforts of all nations. Taiwan stands ready to contribute its capabilities in international medicine and hygiene, he said, and will continue to take action throughout the world.

In spite of the many challenges faced in its quest to take part in the World Health Organization, the nation will not be dissuaded, the premier said. Taiwan will persevere in upholding the rights of its citizens to enjoy healthy lives and contribute to the international community.

Premier Su made his remarks following a presentation by the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) on the latest accomplishments of the Taiwan World Health Assembly (WHA) Action Team.

Due to pressure and political interference from China, 2019 marks the third year in a row that Taiwan has been unable to attend WHA meetings, said the premier. Nevertheless, this did not stop Minster of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung from leading the Taiwan WHA Action Team to Geneva in Switzerland, where the they engaged in 71 bilateral discussions with important member states and international organizations. Several professional seminars were also organized for Taiwan to share its achievements in medicine and treatment. Finally, the Taiwan WHA Action Team accomplished a first by signing a memorandum of understanding with the Geneva University Hospitals while the WHA was active.

Represented at this year’s assembly was a wide range of nations and organizations friendly to Taiwan, Premier Su said. These included 16 diplomatic allies and eight like-minded countries, such as the U.S., Japan, Germany and the U.K., all of which spoke up on Taiwan’s behalf in turn. Many non-governmental advocacy groups, professional medical societies, student associations, and groups of overseas Taiwanese also lent their voices in support of Taiwan’s position. In addition, representative offices from Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Overseas Community Affairs Council took the opportunity to creatively highlight that backing for Taiwan extends across borders and represents a truly international force.

Health and safety are basic human rights, Premier Su indicated, and people across the world deserve to receive equivalent treatment and protections. The premier not only thanked all the members of the Taiwan WHA Action Team, but also expressed gratitude to the global community for the support and advocacy that Taiwan received from nearly every quarter.