Director General, WHO
Avenue Appia 20
Director General Lee:
the 58th meeting of the Assembly of the World Health
Organization approaches, we write to urge your support of
Taiwan's admission as an observer to the Assembly, as well
as its participation in the International Health Regulations
WHO plays a critical role in safeguarding and improving the
health of all the world's peoples and we support its
admirable record of achievement as a guardian of
international health. But a glaring deficiency in the WHO's
global program is that the 23 million people of Democratic
Taiwan are not permitted participation.
era of globalization, there is growing apprehension about
the emergence of new and dangerous illnesses such as SARS
and avian flu. To leave the Taiwanese people outside the
WHO network places not only put their lives at risk, but the
lives of the entire global community.
WHO recently raised concerns about the erroneous
distribution of the H2N2 Influenza virus to laboratories
around the world, including 15 laboratories in Taiwan.
Fortunately, Taiwan health authorities were alerted to the
danger by American health officials and promptly arranged
for the flu samples to be destroyed. But the risks of
dealing with such potential crises while 23 million of the
world's citizens remain outside the global health safety net
are self-evident. When it comes to health, there must be no
you are aware, Taiwan has a modern, world-class health care
system and has lent its talents and resources to peoples in
need throughout Asia and around the world.
Taiwan has much to contribute to global health and deserves
a place under the WHO umbrella. We understand a decision
on Taiwan's status will ultimately be made by the collective
members of the World Health Assembly.
office can have significant influence as the process
unfolds. For these reasons, we urge you to support Taiwan
in its bid for observer status.
you in advance for your consideration. We look forward to
your timely response.
SHERROD BROWN STEVE CHABOT
Co-Chair, Taiwan Caucus Co-Chair, Taiwan
ROHRABACHER ROBERT WEXLER
Caucus Co-Chair, Taiwan CAucus