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 Congress of the United States

House of Representatives

Washington, DC 20515

May 5, 2003

Ms. Gro Harlem Brundtland

Director General, WHO

Avenue Appia 20

1211 Geneva 27


Dear Director General Brundtland:

Taiwan, along with several nations across the globe, has been struck by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). On April 26, the first Taiwanese citizen died from the virus. SARS has resulted in hundreds of deaths worldwide and hospitalized thousands. We believe that WHO measures have been critical to containing the spread of SARS, and to providing nations with accurate and timely information to better combat this world health threat.

Despite the dangers SARS poses to 23 million Taiwanese citizens, the WHO has delayed Taiwan’s effort to contain the spread of SARS, placing the health of an entire nation in jeopardy. This crisis highlights the urgency surrounding Taiwan’s observer status in the WHO at the World Health Assembly in May 2003.

In a display of goodwill, Taiwan has donated NT$200 million (US$5.75 million) to finance a cross border research project on SARS to cooperate with the mainland and Hong Kong, the two hardest-hit areas by the SARS epidemic in combating the deadly disease.

We realize that your term as Director General of the WHO will end after the Geneva summit. As co-chairs of the Congressional Taiwan Caucus, we would be grateful were you to speak out in favor of Taiwan's observer status in the WHO on the floor of the assembly this coming May.

Thank you for all you have done during your tenure at WHO.


Sherrod Brown, Member,           Steve Chabot, Member,

Co-Chair, Taiwan Caucus           Co-Chair, Taiwan Caucus

Robert Wexler, Member,            Dana Rohrabacher, Member,

Co-Chair, Taiwan Caucus           Co-Chair, Taiwan Caucus






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