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    WHO 2003 Campaign - Rep. Brown's Press Release
For Immediate Release:                                                                       Friday, January 31, 2003

"Brown Introduces Bill to Endorse and Obtain Observer Status for Taiwan in International Health Organization Activities"

Legislation urges State Department to Advocate for Taiwan's Inclusion in international health meeting

Washington, D.C.- Congressman Sherrod Brown (D-OH) is leading the push in Congress to authorize the U.S. to endorse and obtain observer status for Taiwan at the annual summit of the World Health Assembly set for May 2003 in Geneva.

Brown, who is co-chairman of the Congressional Taiwan Caucus, introduced the legislation along with the three other co-chairs of the caucus, Reps. Steve Chabot (R-OH), Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) and Robert Wexler (D-FL). Reps. Christopher Cox (R-CA), Jim Davis (D-FL), Joe Hoeffel (D-PA) and Brad Sherman (D-CA) also cosponsored the bill.

Brown said this bill is another important step in fulfilling the commitment the U.S. made in the 1994 Taiwan Policy Review to more actively support Taiwan's membership in organizations such as the United Nations and World Health Organization.

"The government of Taiwan, in response to an appeal from the United Nations and the United States, donated $1 million to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria," said Brown, who is a member of the House International Relations' Subcommittee on East Asia and the Pacific. "Taiwan has eradicated smallpox, cholera, and polio, and has achieved infant mortality rates on par with Western Countries. These accomplishments warrant an invitation to participate in international health policy discussions. With a population of 23.5 million, Taiwan is larger than 75% of the countries that belong to the WHO. Taiwan is prepared to contribute meaningfully to the global health efforts discussed at World Health Assembly (WHA), but without observer status, its delegates can't even enter the room. This bill would prevent the international community from missing out on the insight and experience Taiwanese health officials can offer."

The bill would direct Secretary of State Colin Powell to endorse and help obtain observer status for Taiwan at the annual week-long summit of the WHA. The bill also would require the State Department to submit a plan to Congress on how to accomplish this objective.

(Courtesy of Congressman Brown's office)




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