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   WHO 2003 Campaign - Introduction of HR 441 - FAPA English Press Release


January 28, 2003


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 WHO."

"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!"

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