Taiwan: New Zealand Minister Urges Support
New Zealand's Minister of Revenue Peter Dunne urged his government yesterday to back Taiwan's admission to this year's World Health Assembly meeting in Geneva.
Dunne, who is also an associate health minister outside the Cabinet, said. "At a time when the world is facing the prospect of the serious bird-flu pandemic, it is simply wrong that countries are excluded from international health meetings for political reasons.
"Bird flu and other serious diseases do not recognize international boundaries, and the people of Taiwan have as much right as anyone else in the world to be part of the international effort to curb the spread of such pestilence," he said.
Dunne, leader of the United Future party in parliament, said that he had presented a petition signed by more than 1,600 Taiwanese community leaders calling for New Zealand to back Taiwan's admission to the meeting.
He said that many people applauded Prime Minister Helen Clark when she raised China's appalling human rights record with Premier Wen Jiabao last week when he visited New Zealand.
"Let her now show similar concern for the health status of the people of Taiwan by New Zealand supporting Taiwan's participation in the World Health Assembly," Dunne said.
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