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 WHO 2004 Campaign
New York  State Assembly Passes Resolution Supporting Taiwan's WHO Bid

Joining New York's Taiwanese-American community in support of Taiwan's participation in the World Health Organization as an observer

05/12/04 adopted

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BILL TEXT:

LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION applauding the contributions of New York's Taiwanese-American community and joining with them in support of the participation of the Republic of China (Taiwan) in the role of observer status in the World Health Organization (WHO)

WHEREAS, The City and State of New York and Taiwan have had a long history of friendship and have maintained fruitful sister-state and sister-city relationships; and

WHEREAS, New York City is home to a large and thriving Taiwanese community, one of the largest Taiwanese populations of any United States city; and

WHEREAS, The people of the Taiwanese-American community maintain close ties with family and friends in their native land and are concerned about their health, safety and quality of life; and

WHEREAS, Good health is essential to every citizen of the world just as access to the highest standards of health information and service is necessary to improve the public health; and

WHEREAS, The World Health Organization (WHO) sets forth, in the first chapter of its charter, the objective of attaining the highest possible level of health for all people; and

WHEREAS, This Assembled Body is justly proud to support the participation of the Republic of China (Taiwan) in the role of observer status in the World Health Organization in the upcoming World Health Assembly (WHA) at its Annual Summit, to be held in Geneva, Switzerland, in May

2004; and

WHEREAS, WHO has established precedents for the granting of observer status, having already granted such status to the Order of Malta and the Holy See in the early 1950s, and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in 1974; and

WHEREAS, The population of over 23 million of the Republic of China (Taiwan) is larger than that of 75 percent of the current WHO member states; and

WHEREAS, The United States, in the 1994 Taiwan Policy Review, declared its intention to support Taiwan's participation in appropriate international organizations; and

WHEREAS, The United States House of Representatives has passed H.R. 4019 authorizing a United States plan to endorse and obtain observer status for Taiwan at the annual meeting of the World Health Assembly in May 2004 in Geneva, Switzerland, and other purposes; a similar bill has

been introduced in the United States Senate; and

WHEREAS, The European Parliament passed a Joint Resolution on March 14, 2002, calling on the World Health Assembly to grant observer status to Taiwan; and

WHEREAS, The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and its Republic of China (Taiwan) counterpart have enjoyed close collaboration on a wide range of public health issues; and

WHEREAS, In recent years the Republic of China (Taiwan) has expressed a willingness to assist financially and technically in international aid and health activities supported by the WHO; and

WHEREAS, The government and the people of Taiwan have been actively engaged in various activities in the fields of medical assistance and humanitarian relief to countries in Africa, Asia, Central America and the Caribbean Region, such as Afghanistan, Chad, El Salvador, Honduras

and Liberia, and have contributed financial resources, as well, to relief efforts and to combat disease around the world, including a one million dollar contribution to the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis, and Malaria in December 2002, in response to an appeal from the United Nations and the United States for resources to help control the spread of HIV/AIDS; and

WHEREAS, Taiwan's participation in international health forums and programs is critical, especially with today's greater potential for the cross-border spread of various infectious diseases, such as the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), tuberculosis, and malaria; and

WHEREAS, The importance of the participation of Taiwan in such health forums as the World Health Organization is accentuated by the recent re-emergence of the lethal Avian Influenza in Asia and emphasizes, as the pace of globalization quickens, the danger inherent in Taiwan's lack

of affiliation with the WHO; and

WHEREAS, In 2003, the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) caused panic around the world; acting responsibly, with just six suspected cases, the health authorities in Taiwan duly reported them to WHO on March 14, 2003, even though Taiwan is not a WHO member or observer; and

WHEREAS, Taiwan's achievements in the field of health are substantial; they include one of the highest life expectancy levels in Asia, maternal and infant mortality rates comparable to those of western nations, the eradication of such infectious diseases as cholera, small pox and the

plague, and being the first to eradicate polio and to provide children with hepatitis B vaccinations; and

WHEREAS, Taiwan's participation in WHO could bring great benefits to the state of health not only in Taiwan, but also regionally and globally; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That this Legislative Body pause in its deliberations to applaud the contributions of New York's Taiwanese-American community and joining with them in support of the participation of the Republic of China (Taiwan) in the role of observer status in the World Health Organization (WHO); and be it further

RESOLVED, That copies of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be transmitted to George W. Bush, President of the United States, the United States Department of Health and Human Services, each member of the New York State Congressional Delegation, and the World Health Organization.

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