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MOFA thanks international community for strong support at the 75th WHA

  • Date:2022-05-29
  • Data Source:Department of International Organizations

No. 133
May 29, 2022


The 75th World Health Assembly (WHA) concluded in Geneva on May 28, 2022. During the meeting, participating countries expressed hope that the pandemic would end and voiced concerns regarding the Russia-Ukraine conflict. These sentiments aligned squarely with this year’s theme of “Health for Peace, Peace for Health.” In addition, member nations also recognized Taiwan’s efforts to actively contribute to international public health and provide humanitarian aid, which have proven Taiwan to be an indispensable stakeholder in global public health mechanisms. Taiwan’s diplomatic allies, like-minded partners, and friendly nations showed staunch support for Taiwan’s bid to participate in the World Health Organization (WHO) and WHA through stronger, higher-level, and more diverse methods either at the WHA, the world’s most important public health platform, or via other channels. This year, Taiwan’s bid received endorsement from over 3,800 key politicians, parliamentarians, and influential people from 88 countries. Such wholehearted support is very inspiring, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) of the Republic of China (Taiwan) expresses sincere gratitude for the friendship shown across all sectors of the international community.


Deputy Minister of Health and Welfare Lee Li-feng led a delegation to Geneva to showcase Taiwan’s strong determination to participate in the WHA. During the trip, the delegation participated in diplomatic receptions, the WHO “Walk the Talk” event, professional forums, overseas community activities, and media interviews, as well as 29 bilateral meetings with national delegations and international professional medical organizations from such countries as the United States, the Czech Republic, and Lithuania. The delegation participated in various discussions on how to increase public health cooperation and demonstrated Taiwan’s commitment and determination to contribute to the right to health through concrete action.


This year, 13 diplomatic allies, in their capacity as WHO member states, submitted a proposal to invite Taiwan to attend the WHA as an Observer. St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize, Eswatini, and Tuvalu voiced support for Taiwan during the WHA General Committee and plenary session debate, rebutting China’s one-sided falsehoods and erroneous claims. The representatives emphasized that United Nations General Assembly Resolution 2758 and WHO Resolution 25.1 do not provide authorization for China to represent Taiwan in the UN system. Their just words gave Taiwan considerable encouragement. Taiwan’s allies also sent letters, made statements, published press releases and social media posts, held bilateral meetings with the Taiwanese delegation, attended diplomatic receptions and related events, and passed resolutions and pro-Taiwan motions to show their firm support in diverse ways.


Support for Taiwan from like-minded countries significantly increased this year. During the WHA plenary session, 11 countries—the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, France, Germany, Canada, Luxembourg, Lithuania, the Czech Republic, Japan, and New Zealand—as well as the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, voiced support for Taiwan either through direct endorsement or by asserting the need for inclusiveness. This year was the first time France, Germany, Luxembourg, Lithuania, and the Czech Republic explicitly mentioned support for Taiwan’s participation in the WHA in their statements. This is very meaningful to Taiwan, as countries only have a fixed amount of time to make their statements.


Like-minded countries also showed their staunch support for Taiwan at many multilateral and bilateral events. This was the second consecutive year the Group of Seven (G7)—comprising Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United States, and the United Kingdom, together with the EU—unequivocally advocated Taiwan’s meaningful participation in WHO and the WHA in the Foreign Ministers’ Communiqué. It was also the first time support for Taiwan was mentioned in the G7 Health Ministers’ Communiqué. High-ranking officials from like-minded countries—including Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi, Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský, and Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde—publicly expressed support for Taiwan through remarks, interpellation responses, statements to the media, official statements, and social media posts. This shows that Taiwan’s participation in international public health mechanisms has become a focus of attention for major democracies around the world. The representative offices in Taiwan of the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Japan issued a joint statement backing Taiwan’s participation, reaffirming their continued support through more public joint actions.


Apart from administrations, parliaments around the world and international parliamentary alliances also backed Taiwan through passing bills, resolutions, and motions, and by sending letters to WHO or to their own governments, showing strong support for Taiwan’s bid. The US Congress passed a bill “to direct the Secretary of State to develop a strategy to regain observer status for Taiwan in WHO,” which was then signed into law by US President Joe Biden. More than 140 Canadian parliamentarians signed a letter urging the Canadian government to continue supporting Taiwan. In Japan, 41 out of 47 Japanese prefectural assemblies passed resolutions supporting Taiwan’s participation in the WHA. Support for Taiwan’s international participation also reached new heights in Europe, with the European Parliament and the parliaments of Germany, the United Kingdom, Denmark, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Luxembourg passing pro-Taiwan resolutions or motions. This was unprecedented for Germany and Luxembourg, which makes it particularly meaningful.


Members of the interparliamentary Formosa Clubs in Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Indo-Pacific, West Asia, and Africa also took the initiative to support Taiwan. In Europe, over 1,500 parliamentarians from 34 countries, including Ukraine, signed the joint letter, while representatives of the Indo-Pacific Formosa Club read out a joint statement supporting Taiwan’s participation in international organizations, including WHO, during the club’s inaugural online meeting.


Taiwan’s professional contributions and passion for providing humanitarian aid through international medical cooperation projects over the years were showcased in the short film Sweetness of Friendship, produced by MOFA for this year’s bid. The film has garnered more than 16.76 million views, successfully demonstrating to the world that Taiwan can help, and Taiwan is helping. Op-eds by Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung, letters to the editor by Taiwan’s overseas missions, commentaries and columns by academics and experts from other countries, and other related reports have been published and broadcast in major international media outlets—including the Wall Street Journal and Washington Examiner from the US, the Daily Telegraph from the UK, the Globe and Mail from Canada, Mainichi Shimbun from Japan, the Australian from Australia, Agence France-Presse from France, ABC from Spain, Lithuanian National Radio and Television, and the Anadolu Agency from Turkey. In total, international media outlets from around 60 countries published over 410 reports backing Taiwan’s participation in the WHA.


Legislators Chen Yu-jen, Lin Ching-yi, Wang Wan-yu, and Lee De-wei formed an observer group to represent the ruling and opposition parties and the will of the Taiwanese people. They traveled to Geneva to participate in related campaign events, calling for more international support and backing for Taiwan and urging WHO to seriously consider Taiwan’s bid for regular participation.


Heavyweight international nongovernmental organizations, including the World Medical Association (WMA), the Standing Committee of European Doctors (CPME), and the Association of European Journalists (AEJ), as well as medical professionals from Europe, Asia, Latin America, and Africa, sent letters to the WHO Director-General and made public statements in a united expression of support for Taiwan’s participation in the WHA. While the WHA was being held, Taiwan’s International Cooperation and Development Fund (ICDF) cohosted a forum on Increasing Accessibility to Health Care in Emergency Contexts with the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), demonstrating Taiwan’s abundant capacity for international cooperation.


The international support seen for Taiwan this year across all sectors shows that a consensus on eliminating political barriers and allowing Taiwan to participate in WHO and the WHA is what the world needs to recover from the pandemic, build a more resilient global public health system, and ensure the health, welfare, and safety of all people. The government of Taiwan will continue to abide by the principle of professionalism, pragmatism, and making contributions to global affairs through further cooperation with countries around the world in the field of global health security. This will create a solid foundation and strong momentum for Taiwan’s bid to participate in WHO and the WHA in the future. (E)