of the United States
Washington, DC 20515
Honorable Madeleine Albright
U.S. Secretary of State
Department of State
2201 C. Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20520
are writing in response to the Department of State report
on Taiwan’s participation in the World Health Organization
Law 106-137 requires the Secretary of State to report on
the efforts of the Administration to fulfill the commitment
made in the 1994 Taiwan Policy Review to more actively support
Taiwan’s participation in international organizations, in
particular the World Health Organization (WHO). Unfortunately,
the people of Taiwan have been blocked from participating
in the WHO since 1972. Good health is a right of every
citizen of the world, regardless of the political situation,
and we strongly support Taiwan’s meaningful participation
in the WHO.
is not permitted to join the WHO because Article 3 of the
organization’s Constitution explicitly requires statehood
for membership. However, the WHO Constitution does
not explicitly prohibit Taiwan from obtaining observer status.
Under the annual World Health Assembly’s Rules of Procedure,
Taiwan would be granted observer status in the WHO if a
majority of the present members approved resolution to do
State Department report states that since there is insufficient
support for such a resolution, the Administration will look
for “practical” ways to find way for Taiwan to participate
in the WHO. Taiwan is denied participation in the
WHO because of the People’s Republic of China’s assertion
its neighbor is not a nation and should be denied access
to the latest medical protocols. The fact of the matter
is that participation for Taiwan in the World Health Organization
poses no threat to Beijing’s security but would enhance
the quality of life for its 1.2 billion inhabitants.
WHO is a benign organization, working to eradicate and control
disease and to improve the health of people around the world.
It has instituted highly effective immunization programs,
allowing hundreds of millions of children live better, longer
and healthier lives. The WHO has already helped protect
eight out of ten children worldwide from major childhood
disease, including measles and tuberculosis, and has worked
to reduce the global infant mortality rate by nearly forty
percent since 1970.
should all be deeply distressed by our government’s refusal
to support Taiwan’s bid for observer status in the WHO.
Last Congress, the House of Representatives initiated a
campaign to right this wrong. Our efforts culminated
in the passage of H. Con. Res. 334 on October 9, 1998 with
418 members supporting participation for Taiwan in the World
Health Organization. There were no abstaining votes.
believe it is more than appropriate the Administration support
Taiwan’s effort to pursue observer status in the WHO.
This issue is one that should unite rather than divide the
world community, for the right to good health knows no boundaries.
To help guarantee this basic human right for the people
of Taiwan, we urge you to support Taiwan’s upcoming bid
to obtain observer status in the World Health Organization.
Chris Cox (R-CA)
Sam Gejdenson (D-CT)
Tom Lantos (D-CA)
Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)