Int’l health experts petition for Taiwan’s participation in WHO

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), addresses a press conference about the update on COVID-19 at the World Health Organization headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, Monday, Feb. 24, 2020. (Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone via AP)

TAIPEI (The China Post) — The World Health Assembly (WHA) unfolded on Monday evening (Taiwan time) via video conference with two main topics of discussions: the WHO’s response towards the novel coronavirus (COVID-19); and Taiwan ’s eventual participation in the World Health Organization (WHO).

According to Gavroche, members of the French Parliament had hoped that Taiwan would be allowed to join the WHO. More than 150 MPs had opposed the exclusion of Taiwan from the global public health discussion and requested closer cooperation between WHO and Taiwan.

As of last week, 86 French MPs, 51 Taiwan representatives and other medical and academic experts had signed the petition.

This joint proposal was initiated by French Senator André Gattolin, Taiwanese doctoral student Wang Chien-hui (王建慧), and Pierre Lefèvre, a lecturer at the Institute of Political Studies in Rennes. They also translated the statement into various languages ​​to allow more people to support Taiwan.

According to the website, “Taiwan for all,” the initiators of the petition continued their efforts by writing an open letter on the website of a French magazine “The Observer” (L’Obs) on March 31 this year, hoping to promote Taiwan ’s participation in the WHA, the WHO and among other relevant meetings.

Officials including Taiwan’s representative to France and Italy, Taiwan’s European Commissioner for Overseas Chinese Affairs, and a number of French parliamentarians have signed the petition to express their support.

According to Gavroche, Wang Chien-hui said that this movement not only demonstrated Taiwan’s effective crisis management but also expressed the cooperation and confidence between the people and the government of Taiwan.

“Taiwan for all” means that Taiwan has much to offer to the WHO and is ready to do so.

According to the report, the document was scheduled to be handed over to WHO Secretary-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on May 16.

The date was later changed according to the petition spokesperson, who stated that the letter and the list would be handed over to Dr. Tedros on the day of the WHA meeting.