Premier pushes greater role for Taiwan following WHA presentation

  • Date: 2018-05-31
  • Source: Department of Information Services, Executive Yuan

Premier Lai Ching-te on Thursday said that although Taiwan was not invited to the World Health Assembly (WHA) this year as a result of pressure and political interference from China, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung nevertheless led a delegation to Geneva to explain to the international community the importance of Taiwan within the global health and safety system.

The premier’s remarks came following a presentation by the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) on Taiwan’s accomplishments at the 2018 WHA.

The delegation also entered into bilateral talks with the representatives of individual nations as well as international organizations, held professional forums, and actively sought to strengthen exchanges and cooperation. These efforts not only highlighted Taiwan’s achievements in public health and medical treatment, but also demonstrated the nation’s professional and pragmatic spirit, and willingness to contribute to and participate in international endeavors.

Diplomatic allies spoke on behalf of Taiwan at this year’s WHA, as did the U.S., Japan, Germany, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and other like-minded nations, in support of a greater role for Taiwan. Premier Lai said that this unprecedented voice of solidarity shows that there is broad agreement within the international community that Taiwan’s call to participate in the World Health Organization (WHO) should be honored. It also demonstrates that nations throughout the world understand Taiwan’s potential to make practical contributions to global health. The premier called on relevant ministries and agencies to build on this foundation and continue with efforts to gather support from additional allies around the world so that Taiwan can achieve its objective of active participation in international organizations as quickly as possible.

The premier emphasized that Taiwan has the ability and the willingness to contribute to improved health and medicine throughout the world, and President Tsai Ing-wen earlier announced a donation to the WHO of US$1 million to create a fund to fight the Ebola virus. Premier Lai directed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, MOHW and other responsible organizations to carry on with efforts to secure participation and membership in the WHO, so that Taiwan can join all the world’s nations in dedicating mind and muscle to building a healthier and safer planet.