Sherrod Brown's Remarks During June 23, 1999 Mark-up Hearing
on WHO Membership
for Taiwan Bill (HR1794)
health is a basic right for every citizen of the world.
to the highest standards of health information and services
is necessary to gain this right.
1972, the 21 million people of Taiwan have been blocked
from participation in the World Health Organization.
consequence, the children of Taiwan needlessly suffer because
their doctors are denied access to the latest WHO protocols.
Congress, I introduced a resolution urging the United States
government to find some form of meaningful participation
for Taiwan in the WHO.
though this resolution passed 418 to 0, the State Department
refused to help the Taiwanese people at this year's WHO
Summit in Geneva.
this because I traveled to Geneva to determine whether or
not the U.S. delegation would support Taiwan's efforts to
participate in the WHO.
our delegation stand by silently as the People's Republic
of China , along with the military dictatorship that rules
Myanmar – the nation we used to call "Burma" and probably
the worst government in the world – decried Taiwanese participation
in the WHO as a threat to the stability of East Asia.
fact of the matter is that participation for Taiwan in the
World Health Organization poses no threat to Beijing's security,
but will enhance the quality of life for its 1.2 billion
WHO is an organization whose sole purpose is to eradicate
and control disease while improving the health of people
around the world. Its achievements in this regard are nothing
short of remarkable.
past century, smallpox claimed more than a half billion
lives, killing more people than every war and epidemic put
together. Because of the tireless efforts of the World Health
Organization, this scourge has been totally eradicated.
only 5 percent of the world's children were vaccinated against
preventable diseases. Today, the WHO has vaccinated more
than 80 percent of the kids in the world, saving the lives
of 3 million children each year.
diseases include Polio , a virus unparalleled in its cruelty
and suffering. The WHO has eradicated it from the western
hemisphere. Similarly, measles – a killer of a quarter of
a million children world-wide each year – is targeted for
eradication by 2001.
unconscionable that our government refuses to support every
individual's right to receive the benefits associated with
WHO. That Taiwan is not a sovereign state does not matter
-- other WHO members include the Palestine Liberation Organization,
SWAPO, and the Knights of Cyprus.
high time that the State Department listens to Congress
and quits making policy in a vacuum. This bill will require
it to comply with our demands, and I urge all of my colleagues
to support it.