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US diplomat drums up support for Taiwan’s inclusion in WHA

Washington throws its weight behind Taiwan’s World Health Assembly bid

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U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs Michele Sison (right) meets with Taiwanese Trade Office in Geneva Director Ge...

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs Michele Sison (right) meets with Taiwanese Trade Office in Geneva Director Ge...

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs Michele Sison has joined the ranks of U.S. officials calling for Taiwan’s participation in the upcoming World Health Assembly (WHA).

During a three-day visit to Switzerland ending Wednesday (May 11), Sison met Nicole Su (蘇瑩君), director-general of the Taiwanese Trade Office in Geneva and talked about how the U.S. can push for Taiwan’s inclusion in international bodies including the World Health Organization, per CNA.

Sison stressed that Washington is supportive of the cause and that she had pitched for Taiwan to be granted observer status in the 75th edition of the WHA taking place May 22 at a meeting with WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

“Increased collaboration with Taiwan benefits the health and wellbeing of all,” the U.S. diplomat said in a tweet on May 11 with a photo of her and Su. The comment came with the hashtags #TaiwanCanHelp and #LetTaiwanHelp.

The two countries held a working group meeting in March in Washington to explore ways of expanding Taiwan’s participation at the U.N. and in other international fora. Last month, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources Brian McKeon and the World Medical Association urged the WHA to open up to Taiwan.

Deputy Health and Welfare Minister Lee Li-feng (李麗芬) was sent to Switzerland for the WHA earlier this month, even though Taiwan has failed to receive an invitation for the event for six years in a row.