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Parliamentary friendship groups in EU back Taiwan's bid to attend WHA

2019/04/16 20:58:49

CNA file photo

Taipei, April 16 (CNA) Heads of the Taiwan friendship groups in the European Parliament and the parliaments of Germany, France and the United Kingdom expressed support Monday for Taiwan's participation in the upcoming World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva.

In a joint letter addressed to World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the parliamentary groups asked Taiwan not to be excluded from the world health body, saying that it was unfair to deny the 23 million people of Taiwan access to the global disease prevention system.

"Taiwan has been excluded from the 70th and 71st WHA in the past two years and its participation in the WHO technical meetings has also been restricted, which has created serious gaps in the global health security system," the groups wrote.

"With Taiwan's advanced medical research and continued improvement in its disease prevention capabilities in line with International Health Regulations (IHR), its meaningful participation in the WHO is of vital importance to the global health network."

The heads of the friendship groups also mentioned Taiwan's longstanding commitment to global disease prevention efforts, saying that, for example, Taiwan was quick to announce a donation of US$1 million to the WHO to help fight the resurgence of the deadly Ebola virus in 2018.

Unfortunately, that donation was blocked due to politically driven interference, the parliamentarians said.

They asked the WHO director-general to facilitate Taiwan's presence at this year's WHA -- the decision-making body of the WHO -- which will be held May 20-28 in Geneva, Switzerland.

The letter was signed by Nigel Evans and Lord Rogan, co-chairs of the British-Taiwanese All-Party Parliamentary Group; Klaus-Peter Willsch, chairman of the German-Taiwan Parliamentary Friendship Group; Werner Langen, chairman of the European Parliament Taiwan Friendship Group; and Jean-Francois Cesarini, a French National Assembly deputy and head of the French Senate's Taiwan Friendship Group.

(By Tang Pei-chun and Ko Lin)