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Taiwan's WHA attendance paves way for greater global presence

2012/05/26 17:11:02

Taipei, May 26 (CNA) Health Minister Chiu Wen-ta said Saturday upon his return from Geneva that his attendance at the World Health Assembly (WHA) was fruitful, asserting that the event has helped open the way for Taiwan's increased participation in global health events.

"It was the fourth time Taiwan has attended the WHA, and our participation was fruitful as it helped open up a road for our presence in major world health activities," Chiu said at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport.

In a speech delivered at the just-concluded WHA -- the decision-making arm of the World Health Organization (WHO) -- Chiu said he called on WHO members to continue their support for Taiwan's participation in more WHA and WHO activities.

Taiwan has been allowed to attend the WHA as an observer in the name of "Chinese Taipei" since 2009.

In his speech, Chiu expressed Taiwan's hope that the `WHA model' can be used to facilitate its participation in other WHO meetings and activities.

He also mentioned that after WHO Director-General Margaret Chan won another term in office, he sent a letter to extend his congratulations, and at the same time voiced Taiwan's hope for greater, fairer and more meaningful participation in the WHO.

Given more opportunities to take part in WHO programs and activities, Taiwan, although small in population and territory, can be a major medical service power in the international community, Chiu said.

In addition to attending the annual WHA, Chiu went on, the country will increase exchanges with foreign medical personnel and initiate more medical cooperation programs to promote medical diplomacy.

(By Bien Chin-feng and Elizabeth Hsu)