HEALTH IS A WORLDWIDE VALUE
Support Observer Status for Taiwan in the World Health
In the 1994 Taiwan Policy Review, the administration stated
its intention to support Taiwan's participation in appropriate
international organizations. One of the most important
and appropriate causes for worldwide participation is health
care and the fight against deadly
diseases. But since 1972, Taiwan has not been allowed
to participate in the World Health Organization (WHO), an
international body whose mission is the "attainment by all
peoples of the highest possible level of health."
Taiwan's participation in the WHO would benefit both the
22 million people of Taiwan and the rest of the world.
In 1998, seventy Taiwanese children died as a result of
a virulent strain of enterovirus, which attacks the body
and causes inflammation of muscles surrounding and protecting
the brain, spinal cord, and the heart. If the WHO had been
allowed to assist, many of these lives could have been saved.
Taiwan also has significant health expertise and resources
to offer the WHO, having one of the highest life expectancy
rates and lowest infant mortality rates in Asia.
Congress expressed its support for Taiwan's participation
in the WHO by unanimously passing H.R. 1794, signed by the
president last December. We will be introducing legislation
to require the American WHO delegation to advocate for Taiwan
to receive "observer" status at the week-long World Health
Assembly in May. Taiwan would join other observers
including the Palestinian Liberation Organization, the Knights
of Malta, and the Vatican. This modest level of involvement
is surely appropriate for a population larger than 70 percent
of the WHO member nations. If you have any questions
or would like to be an original cosponsor of this legislation,
please contact Dave Savolaine (Rep. Brown) at x53401 or
Kevin Fitzpatrick (Rep. Chabot) at x52216.
Member of Congress
Member of Congress