|January 28, 2003
Introduced by Reps. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Robert Wexler
(D-FL), Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Steve Chabot (R-OH), Joseph
Hoeffel (D-PA), Jim Davis (D-FL), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Brad
Sherman (D-CA), Christopher Cox (R-CA). Concerning the
participation of Taiwan in the World Health Organization.
SECTION 1. CONCERNING THE PARTICIPATION OF TAIWAN IN THE WORLD
(a) FINDINGS- The Congress makes the following findings:
(1) Good health is important to every citizen of the world and
access to the highest standards of health information and
services is necessary to improve the public health.
(2) Direct and unobstructed participation in international
health cooperation forums and programs is beneficial for all
parts of the world, especially with today's greater potential
for the cross-border spread of various infectious diseases
such as the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), tuberculosis,
(3) Taiwan's population of 23,500,000 people is larger than
that of 3/4 of the member states already in the World Health
(4) Taiwan's achievements in the field of health are
substantial, including one of the highest life expectancy
levels in Asia, maternal and infant mortality rates comparable
to those of western countries, the eradication of such
infectious diseases as cholera, smallpox, and the plague, and
the first to eradicate polio and provide children with
hepatitis B vaccinations.
(5) The United States Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention and its Taiwan counterpart agencies have enjoyed
close collaboration on a wide range of public health issues.
(6) In recent years Taiwan has expressed a willingness to
assist financially and technically in international aid and
health activities supported by the WHO.
(7) On January 14, 2001, an earthquake, registering between
7.6 and 7.9 on the Richter scale, struck El Salvador. In
response, the Taiwanese government sent 2 rescue teams,
consisting of 90 individuals specializing in firefighting,
medicine, and civil engineering. The Taiwanese Ministry of
Foreign Affairs also donated $200,000 in relief aid to the
(8) The World Health Assembly has allowed observers to
participate in the activities of the organization, including
the Palestine Liberation Organization in 1974, the Order of
Malta, and the Holy See in the early 1950's.
(9) The United States, in the 1994 Taiwan Policy Review,
declared its intention to support Taiwan's participation in
appropriate international organizations.
(10) Public Law 106-137 required the Secretary of State to
submit a report to the Congress on efforts by the executive
branch to support Taiwan's participation in international
organizations, in particular the WHO.
(11) In light of all benefits that Taiwan's participation in
the WHO can bring to the state of health not only in Taiwan,
but also regionally and globally, Taiwan and its 23,500,000
people should have appropriate and meaningful participation in
(12) On May 11, 2001, President Bush stated in his letter to
Senator Murkowski that the United States `should find
opportunities for Taiwan's voice to be heard in international
organizations in order to make a contribution, even if
membership is not possible', further stating that his
Administration `has focused on finding concrete ways for
Taiwan to benefit and contribute to the WHO.'.
(13) In his speech made in the World Medical Association on
May 14, 2002, Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy
Thompson announced "America's work for a healthy world cuts
across political lines. That is why my government supports
Taiwan's efforts to gain observership status at the World
Health Assembly. We know this is a controversial issue, but we
do not shrink from taking a public stance on it. The people of
Taiwan deserve the same level of public health as citizens of
every nation on earth, and we support them in their efforts to
(14) The Government of Taiwan, in response to an appeal from
the United Nations and the United States for resources to
control the spread of HIV/AIDS, donated $1 million to the
Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
(b) PLAN- The Secretary of State is authorized--
(1) to initiate a United States plan to endorse and obtain
observer status for Taiwan at the annual week-long summit of
the World Health Assembly in May 2003 in Geneva, Switzerland;
(2) to instruct the United States delegation to Geneva to
implement that plan.
(c) REPORT- Not later than 14 days after the date of the
enactment of this Act, the Secretary of State shall submit a
written report to the Congress in unclassified form containing
the plan authorized under subsection (b).