Skip to main content

International support for Taiwan’s participation reaches new heights at 77th World Health Assembly

  • Date:2024-06-01
  • Data Source:Department of International Organizations

June 1, 2024  

No. 195  

The 77th World Health Assembly (WHA) concluded on June 1. International support for Taiwan’s bid to participate in the WHA reached record heights. Eleven of Taiwan’s diplomatic allies, as members of the World Health Organization (WHO), spoke up for Taiwan during the WHA. Sixteen like-minded countries—the United States, Japan, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, New Zealand, Estonia, Luxembourg, Latvia, Israel, the Netherlands, and Belgium—also voiced support for Taiwan. New Zealand made a specific reference to Taiwan for the first time. The Netherlands backed Taiwan for the first time indirectly by stating that no one should be left behind. Belgium, holding the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union, urged that no one and no area in the world be left behind. The United States, Saint Christopher and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Tuvalu, and Belize strongly refuted the malicious misrepresentation of United Nations General Assembly Resolution 2758 and WHA Resolution 25.1 by the People’s Republic of China and countries deferring to its stance. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) of the Republic of China (Taiwan) sincerely appreciates the staunch support extended by friendly nations. 


In addition, the Group of Seven foreign ministers’ meeting and the Australia-UK Ministerial Consultations specifically endorsed Taiwan’s involvement in WHO and the WHA. Similar support was explicitly expressed in the Diplomatic Bluebook 2024 published by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs; the German federal government’s work report to its parliament on Taiwan’s WHO participation; and the Dutch government’s report to its parliament on its commitments and position concerning this year’s WHO participation. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken; Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshimasa Hayashi; Belgian Minister of Foreign Affairs Hadja Lahbib; Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs Hanke Bruins Slot; Swedish Minister of Foreign Affairs Tobias Billström; French Minister Delegate for Foreign Trade, Economic Attractiveness, Francophonie and French Nationals Abroad Franck Riester also voiced their support for Taiwan. The representative offices in Taiwan of eight countries—the United States, Japan, Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, the Czech Republic, and Lithuania—once again issued a joint press release strongly backing Taiwan’s participation. Members of the national legislatures of the United States, the Czech Republic, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Saint Christopher and Nevis, the Marshall Islands, and Guatemala; the European Parliament; and Formosa Clubs in various regions together made more than 4,000 public appeals for WHO to embrace Taiwan.


Led by Minister of Health and Welfare Chiu Tai-yuan, Taiwan’s WHO action team to Geneva engaged in exchanges and interactions with the national delegations and professional organizations of other countries. The Ministry of Health and Welfare and the International Cooperation and Development Fund held professional forums concerning pandemics, oral health, holistic care, health assistance, and other topics, which were widely commended. 


A Legislative Yuan observer team—comprising Legislative Yuan Vice President Johnny C. Chiang and legislators Chen Ching-hui, Wang Cheng-hsu, and Lin Yi-chun—engaged in related activities and parliamentary diplomacy in Geneva. Through concrete actions, they communicated to the international community the strong support the government’s bid enjoys among the people of Taiwan regardless of political party, helping to gain international backing. 


MOFA’s short promotional film My Second Home received more than 26.96 million views worldwide. International media published a total of 373 articles and related reports, including an op-ed by the minister of health and welfare, letters to the editor from R.O.C. (Taiwan) overseas missions, and supportive opinion pieces and columns by academics and experts around the world. MOFA and its overseas missions issued or shared a total of 2,772 related posts on new media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Threads, and X, with total exposure exceeding 21.99 million. Speaker Emerita of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi and Chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ben Cardin and Republican Ranking Member James Risch showed support on social media using the hashtags #TaiwanCanHelp, #LetTaiwanHelp, #TaiwanDelivers, and #CountTaiwanIn.


The government has made progress in its participation bid this year, underscoring the legitimacy of Taiwan’s efforts to participate in WHO and the WHA. Taiwan is able and willing to work with other countries to realize the goal of “All for Health, Health for All” as soon as possible. MOFA calls on the WHO Secretariat to refrain from again ignoring the international voice of justice for Taiwan, to uphold the principles of professionalism and neutrality, to take the initiative to invite Taiwan to attend the WHA as an observer, and ensure Taiwan’s comprehensive engagement in WHO meetings, mechanisms, and activities. (E)