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 27 House of Representatives Thank HHS Thompson for Support on Taiwan's WHO Bid

 

September 30, 2003

The Honorable Tommy G. Thompson

Secretary of Health and Human Services

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

200 Independence Avenue, S.W.

Washington, D.C. 20201

 

Dear Secretary Thompson:

Thank you for publicly supporting Taiwan's efforts to obtain observer status to the World Health Organization during the World Health Assembly in May.

Although no vote on Taiwan's status was held this year, significant international political progress was made. Congress stands united on Taiwan's participation in the WHA. Japan has publicly declared its support, and the European Union seems to be moving closer to a public endorsement of Taiwan's participation.

As you acknowledged on May 19th at the WHA meeting, "The need for effective public health exists among all peoples." The SARS outbreak is an example of how a tragic illness highlights that disease knows no boundaries, and the importance of allowing all people access to the WHO.

Two of the fundamental tenets of the constitution of the World Health Organization remind us that we must continue to support Taiwan's bid for observer status:

-- The enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being without distinction of race, religion, political belief, economic or social condition.

-- The health of all peoples is fundamental to the attainment of peace and security and is dependent upon the fullest co-operation of individuals and States.

The progress achieved this year at the 56th World Health Assembly calls for the United States to redouble its efforts in supporting Taiwan to gain observer status in the WHO. We thank you again for your support and look forward to continuing to fight for this important issue.

Sincerely,

SHERROD BROWN STEVE CHABOT ROBERT WEXLER JAMES MCGOVERN ROBERT ANDREWS FRANK PALLONE PETE STARK ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN CORRINE BROWN ALCEE HASTINGS HOWARD BERMAN JAMES LANGEVIN MARK SOUDER EDWARD SCHROCK EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON JULIA CARSON MICHAEL MCNULTY MAURICE HINCHEY JERRY COSTELLO JIM RAMSTAD TIM RYAN JEFF MILLER MICHAEL BILIRAKIS CHRIS BELL PETER KING MARILYN MUSGRAVE BOB ETHERIDGE

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