Alexa

Taiwan will not propose WHA bid at WHO board meeting: MOFA

Taiwan will not propose WHA bid at WHO board meeting: MOFA

Taipei, Dec. 30 (CNA) Taiwan will not try to have its bid for observer status at the World Health Assembly placed on the assembly's provisional agenda at next month's World Health Organization executive board meeting, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said Tuesday.
Paul Chang, the director-general of MOFA's Department of International Organization, said the ministry will instead focus on getting its bid on the WHA's supplemental agenda when it meets in May.
“After an overall evaluation and considering the improvement in cross-strait relations, we think the issue is better left for private negotiation than public confrontation, as it is more beneficial for us to achieve the goal,”Chang said.
Noting that Taiwan had not tried to bring up the observership issue at the executive board meeting every year, Chang said the strategy was suggested by the United States and Japan, which openly support observer status for Taiwan in the WHA, the WHO's highest decision-making body.
The executive board, which is scheduled to be meet in Geneva Jan.
19-27, is composed of 34 individuals technically qualified in the health field.
Each person is designated by a member state elected to the board, which sets the provisional agenda for the health assembly and generally facilitates its work. Member states are elected to three-year terms.
Asked whether Taiwan will propose a resolution seeking WHO membership, Chang replied that,“our aim is crystal clear, which is to apply for observer status at the WHA.” He added that Taiwan will continue to communicate with China and other major countries on the issue before making a proposal at the health assembly in May.
Chang would not disclose in what capacity Taiwan plans to push its bid for observership, saying only that many options were being considered, including joining as a health entity or through meaningful participation.
He stressed, however, that the foreign ministry would not consider applying to the WHO as an associate member of China.
Taiwan has tried, without success because of interference from China, to gain entry to the WHA as an observer under its official title, the Republic of China, since 1997.
Last year, it applied for full WHO membership as“Taiwan”for the first time, but the bid failed again due to opposition from Beijing, which claimed that Taiwan is part of its territory and not a sovereign state as required for WHO membership.
(By Rachel Chan)