|September 30, 2003
The Honorable Tommy G. Thompson
Secretary of Health and Human
The U.S. Department of Health and
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
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.
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