Taiwan patiently awaits invite from WHA

The WHA is scheduled to take place in Geneva, Switzerland from May 22 to 31.

(By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) - Taiwan is continuing its effort to secure an invitation for the nation to attend this year’s World Health Assembly (WHA), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Tuesday.

In a press conference today, the ministry said the officials are currently working in tandem with Taiwan’s representative office in Geneva on this issue, and they have been in contact with the WHO Secretariat and gave notice of their intention to attend the meeting this year.

Taiwan was invited to participate in the meeting as an observer for the first time in 2009 since the nation lost its seat in the United Nations to China in 1971, and has been for the past eight years.

Last year, the nation received a last-minute invitation from the organization, only to find out that an unexpected reference to the United Nations Resolution No. 2758 and the “one China” principle were contained in the letter, sparking controversy over whether the government should send a representative to the meeting.

The ministry said today Taiwan has in the past demonstrated its ability to contribute to global health efforts, adding that the nation’s continuous participation in the WHA meeting has been recognized as important by other member states as well as the WHO itself.

The ministry then urged the organization to maintain political neutrality and stressed the emphasis of Taiwan’s participation is on professional cooperation.

The WHA is scheduled to take place in Geneva, Switzerland from May 22 to 31.