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    WHO 2002 - Amendment of WHO Public Law

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - August 3, 20001

Public Law 107-10 Amended

Authorizing Taiwan WHO Plan for 2002

On August 2, Reps. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Steve Chabot (R-OH) introduced an amendment to PL 107-10 which authorizes the Secretary of State "to 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 2002" and reminds President Bush of his promise to Senator Frank Murkowski (R-AK) in a 5/11/01 letter on this issue. The bill also asks the Secretary of State to "submit a written report" on the plan to Congress within 14 days after the Act's enactment.

In his letter, the President had stated 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." President Bush further said that his Administration "has focused on finding concrete ways for Taiwan to benefit and contribute to the WHO." Bush was responding to a Murkowski-initiated letter, signed by thirty-one Senators, which called upon the President to "stand up and take the lead" on Taiwan's participation in the WHO as an observer during the 2001 World Health Assembly meeting in Geneva.

The amended bill also notes that, at this same World Health Assembly meeting, Tommy Thompson, Secretary of Health and Human Services, announced the Administration's support of Taiwan's participation in the WHO activities.

In its findings, the legislation states, "Good health is a basic right for every citizen of the world and access to the highest standards of health information and services is necessary to help guarantee this right." It goes on to note that "direct and unobstructed participation in international health cooperation forums and programs is …crucial for all parts of the world, especially with today's greater potential for the cross-border spread of various infectious diseases such as AIDS." Leaving Taiwan's 22 million people out of the WHO sphere both denies them their due right to good health and creates potential health hazards for both Taiwan and other nations.

"The bill is another step towards our hoped-for goal of ultimate WHO membership for Taiwan," states FAPA Acting President Ming-chi Wu. "Congress is asking the Administration to fulfill President Bush's stated objective of letting Taiwan's voice be heard, in the specific case of the WHO. We firmly support this Congressional call for a pro-active position by the Administration. With its development as a human-rights respecting, mature democracy, Taiwan deserves such support and the WHO will be all the stronger with Taiwan's participation."

Mandarin Press Release

Text of the Amendment

 
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