Taiwan WHA participation proposal left off agenda

05/20/2019 10:50 PM
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Geneva, May 20 (CNA) A proposal to invite Taiwan to participate in the World Health Assembly (WHA), the decision-making body of the World Health Organization, as an observer has not been placed on the agenda of this year's session for discussion.

The decision to not include the proposal was made despite four of Taiwan's diplomatic allies advocated its inclusion during two-on-two debates at the 72nd WHA General Committee and plenary session in Geneva on Monday.

The four allies were the Marshall Islands, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Honduras and Eswatini.

Meanwhile, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) released a video saying that there was no legitimate reason for Taiwan's exclusion from this year's WHA in Geneva from May 20 to 28.

Video taken from President Tsai Ing-wen's (蔡英文)'s Facebook

"Unfortunately, Taiwan was not invited to participate in the WHA this year," Tsai said in the video, arguing that the exclusion was not justified because the global health network should not limited by political agenda of a single country.

Though she did not directly name China in the video, Beijing blocked the WHO from inviting Taiwan to the WHA for a third year in a row, after the country attended the gathering from 2009 to 2016 as an observer when relations with China were better.

Taiwan is not a member of the United Nations and therefore cannot directly participate in U.N.-affiliated organizations, such as the WHO.

Because of that, its participation on those organizations is often at the mercy of Beijing, which claims to represent Taiwan in those bodies but has no jurisdiction over Taiwan.

(By Tang Pei-chun, Tai Ya-chen and William Yen)


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