Minister: Taiwan ‘will not be absent’ from WHA

Radio Taiwan International
Date: 2017-04-05

The health minister, Chen Shih-chung, said Wednesday that Taiwan “would not be absent” from this year’s World Health Assembly (WHA).

This year’s meeting of the World Health Organization’s convening body will take place in Geneva from May 22nd to 31st. Taiwan has attended the meeting as an observer for the past eight years. But this year China’s boycott of the Tsai Ing-wen administration may mean Taiwan is not invited.

Chen said the health and welfare ministry is continuing to make preparations to attend. He said Taiwan would make its voice heard even if the country is ultimately not invited.

“Regardless of whether there is an invitation, we will still speak out to say that although we need the WHO, the WHO also needs us,” said Chen. “There cannot be any gaps when it comes to global epidemic prevention. Health is a basic human right and no political force should interfere in Taiwan’s right to health. Taiwan’s contribution to world health should also not be disregarded. We absolutely will not be absent.”

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