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    WHO 2001 - Senate Unanimously Passes WHO bill

Senate Unanimously Passes WHO Bill -- Sends State Department Clear Message: Get Moving on Taiwan's WHA Observer Status

Immediate Release --- 5/10/01

The Senate, by unanimously passing H.R. 428 on Wednesday evening May 9, 2001 sent the State Department a message: get a plan together to "endorse and obtain observer status for Taiwan at the annual week-long summit of the World Health Assembly in May 2001 in Geneva, Switzerland." 

Declaring that "[G]ood health is important to every citizen of the world and access to the highest standards of health information and services is necessary to improve the public heath," the Senate authorized the Secretary of State to initiate the plan and also "to instruct the United States delegation to Geneva to implement that plan." 

Thirty-one Senators had signed a letter in March which called on President Bush to "stand up and take the lead" on Taiwan's participation in the WHO as an observer during the next World Health Assembly in Geneva.   The unanimous passage of H.R. 428 reinforced the letter's recommendation.

"This is another important signal from the United States to Taiwan about U.S. support for a nation which is democratic and respects human rights," said Chen Wen-yen, FAPA President.  "The bill rightly points out the need for international health cooperation in today's world.  With Taiwan at the table, the world health order will be strengthened immeasurably."

The House today unanimously passed legislation (HR428) mandating that the U.S. Secretary of State "initiate a United States plan to endorse and obtain observer status for Taiwan at the annual week-long summit of the World Health Assembly in May 2001 in Geneva, Switzerland," and "instruct the United States delegation to Geneva to implement such plan."

The bill, introduced with a forceful bipartisan group of 93 co-sponsors led by Rep. Sherrod Brown (D-OH)', bill presses the Bush Administration to put some teeth into the effort to obtain meaningful participation by Taiwan in international organizations. Congressional frustration with the Clinton State Departmentís unwillingness to implement the 1994 Taiwan Policy Review and with Stateís January 4, 2000 report, which was supposed to list the Administrationís efforts to support Taiwanís participation in international organizations, in particular the WHO, motivated the bill.

Taiwan ought to be brought into as many international organziations as possible. In this respect the WHO is a constructive development," stated Rep. Jim Leach (R-IA), chair of the Asia and the Pacific Subcommittee of the House International Relations Committee.

Thirty-one Senators signed a letter in March which called on President Bush to "stand up and take the lead" on Taiwan's participation in the WHO as an observer during the next World Health Assembly in Geneva.

"U.S. policy should support democratic, human rights respecting Taiwan's right to international recognition.  The WHO bill is a small first step forward on this issue.  With passage in the Senate, President Bush can put his stamp of approval in support of Taiwan's joining the family of nations,"  stated Chen Wen-yen, FAPA President. "We hope  Mr. Bush presses the State Department to explore every opportunity to make this happen."

 Mandarin Version

 
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