-  Saturday 15 August 2020

EU backs nation's bid to participate in WHO activities

Tuesday, Apr 18, 2006,

The EU recently sent a letter to the WHO to support Taiwan's participation in the world health body, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed yesterday.

A ministry official speaking on condition of anonymity said yesterday that the letter was sent to the WHO early last month by Austria's representative at the UN's European headquarters.

Ministry spokesperson Michel Lu  said the letter was sent by the EU to inquire about Taiwan's prospects for participating in WHO activities.

According to a Central News Agency (CNA) report on Sunday, the WHO responded through its secretary-general Lee Jong-wook. Lee said that since the world health body signed a memorandum of understanding with China last May that it would offer Taiwan access to relevant technical activities, 12 of the nation's medical professionals have taken part in eight specialist conferences organized by the health body.

CNA reported that the EU was not satisfied with Lee's response and was seeking further clarification.

The EU expressed its support for Taiwan's participation in the WHO in an internal meeting on East Asian affairs on April 6.

An unnamed official was quoted as saying that the EU was supportive of Taiwan's technical participation in the world health body, but had reservations about backing the nation's bid to obtain observer status at the WHO, due to the politically sensitive issue of Taiwan's international status.

Taiwan will launch its 10th bid to become a WHO observer at the organization's annual meeting, the World Health Assembly, which is scheduled to take place from May 22 to May 27.


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