Taiwan to lead delegation to Geneva to protest WHA exclusion

meanwhile, a group of civil society organizations will take out a march on May 21 to express their discontent towards the WHO decision...

(By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) - A delegation led by Taiwan’s Minister of Health and Welfare (MHW) Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) is planning to travel to Geneva on May 20 to protest against the nation’s exclusion from 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 minister said Wednesday during an interpellation session that the delegation will be named “the WHA Action Group” instead of “Chinese Taipei,” and they will seek to attend more bilateral meetings than the 32 held last year.

Chen said they will take every opportunity they get to exchange views with other delegations on global health issues on the sidelines of the assembly, while bilateral meetings with the participating countries and NGOs will be their top priority.

"Protest is a must," Chen said when asked whether the delegation will organize a protest there.

Meanwhile, a group of civil society organizations including the Air Clean Taiwan and the Taiwan Association of Obstetrics and Gynecology will take out a march on May 21 to express their discontent towards the WHO decision to exclude Taiwan from this year’s assembly.

This is the first time in eight years that Taiwan was not 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."