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Health minister calls for greater WHO participation for Taiwan

2012/05/23 19:27:45

Geneva, May 23 (CNA) Health Minister Chiu Wen-ta urged the World Health Organization (WHO) Wednesday to give Taiwan "greater and fairer" participation in WHO events other than the World Health Assembly (WHA), in which it has observer status.

In a speech at the WHA in Geneva, Chiu said that despite Taiwan's full commitment to the responsibilities that come with WHA observer status, "we have seen little progress in gaining greater and fairer participation in the WHO."

He appealed to the WHO member states for their support and urged the organization to adopt the "WHA model" to allow Taiwan's further participation in other WHO-related issues such as meetings, mechanisms and activities.

Taiwan is attending the annual WHA as an observer under the name of Chinese Taipei for the fourth year. The observer status for Taiwan under a name that is acceptable to China -- which considers Taiwan to be a breakaway province of China and opposes its participation in global organizations as a sovereign nation -- is the so-called WHA model.

Chiu made the appeal toward the end of a speech to the WHO's decision-making body in which he introduced and described Taiwan's National Health Insurance program.

(By Tsao Yu-fan and Kendra Lin)