FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 28, 2003
BILL URGES STATE DEPARTMENT TO GAIN WHO OBSERVER STATUS FOR
Nine Members of Congress, noting the "benefits that Taiwan's
participation in the WHO can bring to the state of health not
only in Taiwan, but also regionally and globally," today
introduced legislation that authorizes the Secretary of State
"to initiate a United States plan to endorse and obtain
observer status for Taiwan" and "to instruct the United States
delegation to Geneva to implement that plan."
Bill co-sponsors, which include the four Congressional Taiwan
Caucus chairs, underscored Congress' long commitment to the
goal of obtaining Taiwan's WHO observer status and the bill
quotes President George W. Bush's May 11, 2001 commitment to
"find opportunities for Taiwan's voice to be heard in
international organizations in order to make a contribution,
even if membership is not possible" and the President's
declaration that his Administration "has focused on finding
concrete ways for Taiwan to benefit and contribute to the
"The time for Taiwan's entrance into the WHO is now," stated
Rep. Sherrod Brown (D-OH). "Taiwan has been a most important
contributor of resources to control the spread of HIV/AIDS and
other infectious diseases.
At the same time Taiwan has had its own internal problems with
enterovirus and dengue fever outbreaks. In today's
interconnected world, it is simply unconscionable for any
population to be excluded from WHO interaction and protection.
The health of each of us is dependent on the health of all."
"Originally," states FAPA President Wu Ming-chi "Introducers
sought to phrase the bill in such a way that the legislation
would authorize the State Department to help Taiwan get WHO
observer status over the next couple of years. Later they
decided not to follow that route for the felt that introducing
the WHO legislation every year would make the U.S. Congress
and Administration focus on the plea of the 23 million people
of Taiwan to join international organizations in general and
the WHO in particular."
"This bill is another step towards ultimate WHO membership for
Taiwan," continues the FAPA President. "Congress has come to
the point where it is seeking a pro-active position by the
Administration. It is just a matter of time for
Taiwan to become a full-fledged member of the WHO.
This is s small step for the WHO but a major step for Taiwan!"