Unanimously Passes WHO Bill -- Sends State Department Clear
Message: Get Moving on Taiwan's WHA Observer Status
Immediate Release --- 5/10/01
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."
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."
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
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."
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
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.
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
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.
policy should support democratic, human rights respecting
Taiwan's right to international recognition.
The WHO bill is a small first step forward on this
passage in the Senate, President Bush can put his stamp
of approval in support of Taiwan's joining the family of
Chen Wen-yen, FAPA President. "We hope
Mr. Bush presses the State Department to explore
every opportunity to make this happen."