TAIPEI（Taiwan News） - The World Health Organization (WHO) stated Friday that it has received a joint proposal from a total of 11 countries endorsing Taiwan’s participation in the upcoming World Health Assembly (WHA).
The 70th WHA meeting will take place in Geneva, Switzerland from May 22 to 31, while Taiwan has been left behand and failed to receive an official invitation.
The WHO issued an official statement yesterday, naming the countries that have submitted the proposal urging the organization to invite Taiwan to attend this year’s assembly, all of which the island nation’s diplomatic allies.
Those countries include Belize, the Marshall Islands, the Republic of Nauru, the Republic of Nicaragua, the Republic of Palau, the Republic of Paraguay, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Solomon Islands, the Kingdom of Swaziland, and Tuvalu.
Titled “Inviting Taiwan to participate in the World Health Assembly as an observer,” the WHO said the proposal has been submitted to the General Committee for its consideration.
Meanwhile, a delegation led by Taiwan’s Minister of Health and Welfare (MHW) Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) will arrive in Geneva Saturday to protest against the nation’s exclusion from the international event.
The delegation, named ”the WHA Action Group” instead of “Chinese Taipei,” will seek to attend as many bilateral meetings as possible, on the sidelines of the assembly. The goal is to surpass the 32 held last year, Chen said during an interpellation session Wednesday, while adding “protest is a must.”
This is the first time in eight years that Taiwan has not been invited to participate in the WHA, the decision-making body for the WHO.
In 2009, Taiwan was granted "observer status" under former President Ma Ying-jeou administration, and has attended WHA every year since under the title "Chinese Taipei."