Taiwan still seeks WHO participation despite US withdrawal

Ministry of Foreign Affairs says Taiwan still wants membership in global health agency

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Taiwan still seeks participation in WHO despite U.S.' withdrawal

Taiwan still seeks participation in WHO despite U.S.' withdrawal (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) on Wednesday (July 8) said Taiwan’s goal of participation in the World Health Organization (WHO) will not change despite U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the international health agency.

The U.S. recently officially informed the UN that it will withdraw from the WHO effective next July. MOFA Spokesperson Joanne Ou (歐江安) responded the foreign ministry will continue to pay close attention to developments concerning the U.S. leaving the world health body, CNA reported.

Ou pointed out that participation in the WHO has always been a wish for Taiwanese and it is also a key goal of the government to promote participation in international organizations. "This will not change," she stated.

Ou said the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis has highlighted the fact there cannot be any gaps in global epidemic prevention cooperation. She added that Taiwan’s successful experience of epidemic prevention has made the international community understand the necessity and urgency of incorporating Taiwan into the global public health system.

The foreign affairs spokesperson stated that this year's World Health Assembly (WHA) participation campaign received the strongest international support in recent years. In addition to strong backing from the U.S., many countries with similar values spoke out in favor of Taiwan joining the health body, adding momentum to the nation’s participation case.

Ou said that Taiwan’s struggle for WHO participation will be affected by Washington’s withdrawal. She added that MOFA will continue to strengthen cooperation with the U.S., diplomatic allies, and friendly countries with similar values.

MOFA will also continue to uphold the principles of "professionalism, pragmatism, and contribution." It will discuss with the Ministry of Health and Welfare and other relevant ministries, in accordance with changes in global affairs, the goals and strategies most in line with Taiwan’s interests, Ou concluded.