For Immediate Release:
Friday, January 31, 2003
"Brown Introduces Bill to Endorse and Obtain Observer
Status for Taiwan in International Health Organization
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