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 House Introduces WHO Bill-HR 3793

For Immediate Release                                                                               February 11, 2004

BILL URGES U.S. TO INTRODUCE RESOLUTION AT UPCOMING GENEVA WHO SUMMIT

On February 10, the chairs of the Congressional Taiwan Caucus led by Rep. Sherrod Brown introduced legislation (HR3793) that authorizes the Secretary of State "to introduce a resolution on the floor of the world Health Assembly, before the assembled delegates, in support of Taiwan's participation in the World Health Organization with observer status."

The bill echoes the sentiment of the WHO bill that was introduced for the first time in 1999 and subsequently every year thereafter.

The main difference with last year's bill is that this bill authorizes the State Department to introduce a resolution on the floor of the World Health Assembly in May in Geneva this year in support of Taiwan's participation in the World Health Organization with observer status.

This year, the bill also makes references to the SARS and bird flu epidemics.

The bill underscores 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."

FAPA President Wu Ming-chi, Ph.D. states: "This is a groundbreaking and creative step on the road towards full membership for Taiwan in the WHO. It would be very encouraging if the Administration would take this more and more pro-active position."

"The U.S., Japan and European countries now accept the notion that Taiwan deserves participation in the WHO.  After last year's SARS outbreak in Asia (including Taiwan) the region has now been hit by the Bird Flu. This illustrates that disease knows no borders.  The people of Taiwan cannot again be sacrificed for the sake of politics. We look forward to seeing what actions the US State Department will take in Geneva in support of Taiwan."

FAPA 新聞稿】                                                                 【2004年 2月11日】

Contact: Iris Ho at 202-547-3686

美國會引進WHO法案,內含創意性提案:

呼籲行政部門在今年世衛大會中引進決議案支持台灣觀察員身份

「不屈不撓,再接再厲」,已經成為美國國會協助台灣參與世衛的最佳箴言。美國眾議院台灣連線主席們在10日(昨日)由共同主席之一布朗(Sherrod Brown, D-OH)領銜,聯合引進一法案(第3793號法案),呼籲國務卿鮑威爾提出並實施協助台灣成為世衛觀察員一計劃。

值得特別注意的是今年法案裡有一頗具創意的作法:台灣連線建議國務院在今年五月的世衛大會上,由美國代表團(而非以往台灣友邦)引進支持台灣世衛觀察員身份的決議案。

FAPA自1999年起在美國國會宣導引進支持台灣參與世衛的議案或法案,而這些議案、法案背後所象徵美國國會對台灣的支持則是自1999年一貫至今,從未改變。

除了前述創意性的提議外,今年的法案並加入了禽流感與嚴重急性呼吸道症候群(SARS)等文字,以突顯出在疾病無國界的情況下,台灣被世衛排除在外的不合理與不通人情。

法案並表示:「台灣的參與(世衛)將不僅能夠提昇台灣醫療系統,區域與全球的醫療體系也將連帶受益。」法案中也引用了布希總統在2001511日回覆三十多位參議員聯署信函時表示:「美國應該尋求各種機會,即使在正式會籍不可能的情況下,使台灣的聲音在國際組織中能被聽到,使其能為國際組織做出貢獻。」布希總統更明白指出「政府部門已專注於尋求具體方法,使台灣能受惠並貢獻於世界衛生組織。」

FAPA會長吳明基表示:「台灣連線在今年法案中建議由美國代表團在世衛大會上引進決議案支持台灣觀察員身份,是一破天荒與極具創意的做法。國務院如能採納這樣的意見,扮演更為積極主動的角色,將是值得鼓勵的。」

吳明基接著表示:「台灣參與世衛已經逐漸成為美、日甚至是歐洲等多國的共識。尤其近日在亞洲流行的禽流感,是繼去年奪走多條人命的嚴重急性呼吸道症候群(SARS)後,另一波流行疫情。疾病無國界,台灣人民不能再次成為國際政治考量下的犧牲品。我們期待台灣連線在近期內有下一波的動作,並期待美國國務院今年能有著比去年更有力、更支持台灣的公開行動!

Any question? Please email: home@fapa.org or Call: (202)547-3686