TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — U.S. Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources Brian McKeon urged Taiwan’s participation in the World Health Assembly (WHA) in a meeting with WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Friday (April 8).
McKeon said the U.S. wished to see Taiwan granted observer status at the U.N. forum this year, scheduled for May 22-28. The WHO chief is visiting Washington to discuss U.S. engagement in the effort to fight COVID-19 and reform the U.N. health body, according to a tweet by Mckeon.
Taiwan joined the WHA as an observer between 2009 and 2016 but has failed to be invited to the annual assembly since 2017 due to Chinese pressure. There has been a global effort to push for Taiwan’s inclusion in the event, with the World Medical Association passing a resolution in October 2021 supporting this cause.
At a U.S.-Taiwan Working Group Meeting on March 31 in Washington, officials from the two sides discussed ways to expand Taiwan’s participation at the U.N. and in other international fora, including the WHA and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
The U.S. expressed concern over Taiwan’s exclusion from “contributing its expertise, resources, energy, and generosity to the international community,” according to a U.S. State Department press release.