SUPPORTS TAIWAN'S PARTICIPATION IN WHO: HEALTH SECRETARY
May 16 (CNA) U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy
G. Thompson said Wednesday that the United States supports
Taiwan's role in the World Health Organization (WHO).
questions raised by a CNA reporter after delivering a speech
at the American International Club in Geneva, Thompson said
clearly that U.S. President George W. Bush, the new U.S.
administration and he himself will all throw their weight
behind Taiwan's role in the meetings and activities of the
WHO and exchanges under its auspices.
is the first time in many years that a U.S. cabinet member
has openly and explicitly supported Taiwan's participation
in the WHO. Thompson's remarks coincide with a U.S. congressional
resolution Tuesday asking the U.S. administration to help
Taiwan obtain an observer status in the WHO.
steering committee of the WHO on Monday turned down a proposal
raised by Honduras and other three of Taiwan's diplomatic
allies to put Taiwan's WHO membership issue on the agenda
of the WHO assembly, marking the fifth consecutive year
that Taiwan has failed to enter the WHO.
a founding member of the WHO, was forced out of the organization
in 1972 after losing its seat in the United Nations to mainland
China a year earlier.
said that although United Nations' resolution No. 2758 in
1971 substantially bars Taiwan's participation in the WHO,
he, as the health secretary of the United States, supports
Taiwan's participation in the WHO. He said he thinks that
Taiwan should be a part of its meetings and gain access
to the expertise of WHO experts to help upgrade the health
care standard of the island.
said he was a friend of Taiwan's and had visited the island
six times during his tenure as the governor of the State
of Wisconsin. (By James Kuo & Bear Lee)