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    WHO 2002

Congress of the United States

Washington, DC 20515

May 9, 2002

The President

The White House

Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

We are writing to express our disappointment with a recent report issued by the State Department concerning Taiwan and the World Health Organization (WHO).

As you may recall, on April 4th, 2002, you signed into law P.L. 107-158, which requires the Secretary of State to provide Congress with a United States plan to endorse and obtain observer status for Taiwan. In accordance with that law, the Secretary of State recently submitted a report to the House Committee on International Relations. To our great disappointment, that report contained nothing more than an overview of the United States historical position toward Taiwans membership into the World Health Organization (WHO) and failed completely to provide any United States plan of action to help Taiwan achieve observer status.

Mr. President, we are well aware of your strong commitment to Taiwan. So we remain confident that this report does not reflect a change in the United States long standing policy of support t for Taiwans accession to the WHO. Nevertheless, given the shortcomings of the report, we also believe that the Administration needs to not only quickly and forcefully restate its intention to endorse Taiwans membership in the WHO, but also restate its intention too advocate for this change with other WHO members.

It is important to note that since the State Department completed its recent report, Taiwanese officials have stated their willingness to be classified as a public health entity, a classification similar to the one Taiwan used for other international organizations. This new classification should make it substantially easier for the U.S. to undertake an active effort on Taiwans behalf, and it provides another obvious reason for this report to be rewritten in a manner that spells out in clear terms a plan of action going forward.

The World Health Organization will convene its annual summit in Geneva, Switzerland on May 13, 2002. It was the express position of Congress that the United States should have implemented a clear plan of action to obtain observer status for Taiwan prior to this annual event. Without a clear plan, we are concerned that the stated desire of the Congress, and what we understand to be the position of your Administration, will fail to be implemented. More importantly the world will have missed another opportunity to have Taiwans expertise, good will, and assistance put to work helping to solve our global health problems.

We trust the omissions in this recent report will be corrected so that the United States can assist our long time friend of Taiwan in joining this important organization. We look forward to hearing from you on the Administrations plan of action at the earliest possible date.

 

Sincerely,

Dan Burton, Gary L. Ackerman,Joe Crowley,Constance Morella, George Radanovich

Joel Hefley, Joseph Hoeffel, Ellen Tauscher, Virgil Goode, Todd Thiahrt, Peter Deutsch

Alcee Hastings, Marcy Kaptur, Sam Johnson, Michael McNulty, Dana Rohrabacher

Bob Stump, Pete Sessions, Curt Weldon, Christopher Smith, Albert Wynn, Chris Cox

Maurice Hinchey, Bob Schaffer, Mark Souder, Mark Kirk, Jerry Costello, Nita Lowey

Shelley Berkley, Patrick Kennedy, Howard Berman, Eni Faleomavaega, Silvestre Reyes

Solomon Ortiz, David Wu, Gregory Meeks, John Linder, Tom Lantos, Ken Calvert

Roy Blunt, Adam Smith, Rob Andrews, Bob Barr,Mike Honda

 
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