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    WHO 2001 - President Bush Focused on "Concrete Ways" for Taiwan to contribute to WHO

 

--- For immediate release May 18, 2001 ---

President George W. Bush, in a letter to Senator Frank Murkowski dated 5/11/01, agreed that the U.S. "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" and stated that his Administration "has focused on finding concrete ways for Taiwan to benefit and contribute to the WHO."

Bush said that some of the "practical ways" already discussed with Taiwan representatives included: "support for the participation of Taiwan experts on WHO advisory panels, support for Taiwan's participation in WHO-organized conferences, and expanded health care cooperation between Taiwan and the United States."

"As we pursue those goals," Bush concluded, "we will continue to urge the PRC and the international community to be more receptive to Taiwan's participation in the WHO and other international organizations."

Bush was responding to a 3/14/01 letter initiated by Senator Murkowski and signed by 31 Senators urging the President "to take appropriate steps to support Taiwan's participation in the WHO as an observer during the next World Health Assembly meeting." The Senators noted that "only through United States' leadership can we ensure that no people are left behind in the pursuit of the highest standards of health because of the political limitations of international organizations of which the United States is a party."

On May 16, Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy G. Thompson told reporters in Geneva that the new U.S. administration would throw its weight behind Taiwan's role in the meetings and activities of the WHO and exchanges under its auspices.

Rep. Michael Bilirakis (R-FL) had written to Secretary Thompson before he left for the World Health Assembly meeting in Geneva and urged him to "find space in your remarks to support Taiwan's observer status in the WHA, noting developments in Taiwan and the positive role Taiwan's participation in this body will have for all countries."

"I am doubly proud today - proud of the Bush Administration's strong support for democratic Taiwan's voice in international organizations and proud of FAPA's own role in working on the letters from Senator Murkowski and Rep. Bilirakis," stated Chen Wen-yen, FAPA President. "The time is now for Taiwan to take its place in international organizations."

 

 

* * * * *

 

THE WHITE HOUSE

WASHINGTON

 

May 11, 2001

 

The Honorable Frank Murkowski

Chairman

Committee on Energy and Natural Resources

United States Senate

Washington, DC 20510-0202

 

 

Dear Mr. Chairman:

Thank you for your letter regarding Taiwan’s participation in the world Health Organization (WHO). My Administration shares your concern for the health and well-being of the people of Taiwan.

I agree that we should find opportunities for Taiwan’s voice to be heard in organizations in order to make a contribution, even if membership is impossible. We have worked closely with Taiwan to advance that objective.

In the absence of sufficient international support to secure Taiwan WHO observer status, my Administration has focused on finding concrete ways for Taiwan to benefit and contribute to the WHO. In recent consultations with Taiwan representatives, we discussed some practical ways to broaden Taiwan’s access to WHO information and activities. These include support for the participation of Taiwan experts on WHO advisory panels, support for Taiwan’s participation in WHO-organized conferences, and expanded health care cooperation between Taiwan and the United States. As we pursue those goals, we will continue to urge the PRC and international community to be more receptive to Taiwan’s participation in the WHO and other international organizations.

Again, thank you for writing regarding this important matter.

Sincerely,

George W. Bush

Mandarin Version

 
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