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Taiwan expresses dissatisfaction with absence of WHA invitation

MOFA condemns WHO for lack of both professionalism and political neutrality

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MOFA Spokeswoman Joanne Ou. (Joanne Ou photo)

MOFA Spokeswoman Joanne Ou. (Joanne Ou photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) on Thursday (May 19) expressed regret and dissatisfaction with the fact that Taiwan has not been invited to attend the May 22-28 World Health Assembly (WHA) despite widespread international support.

The 75th edition of the event in Geneva, Switzerland, will be the first in-person WHA since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, yet the World Health Organization (WHO) has been unable to stand by its principles of political neutrality and professionalism and invite Taiwan, MOFA Spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) said.

The global body has failed to take international opinion into account, she added, pointing out calls from across the world to allow “meaningful participation” by Taiwan.

Ou thanked 13 of the country’s diplomatic allies for proposing a motion to allow Taiwan to attend the WHA as an observer, and for having the proposal treated as a supplementary motion for discussion at the Geneva meeting, CNA reported.

In order to promote its case and to hold meetings with other delegations during the WHA, Taiwan is still sending a group headed by Deputy Health and Welfare Minister Lee Li-feng (李麗芬) to Switzerland.