Taiwan: PRC, Stop Opposing WHO Membership, MEP Urges
Below is an article published by the Parliament:
Senior MEP urges China to drop opposition to Taiwan's WHO bid
A senior MEP has appealed to China to "show goodwill" and drop its opposition to Taiwan taking part in the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The appeal comes ahead of Taiwan's expected application next month [May 2009] for "meaningful participation" in the global organisation.
German centre-right MEP Georg Jarzembowski told this website "the time has come" for Taiwan to be allowed to participate on such international organisations.
In the past, China has objected to Taiwanese participation in bodies like the WHO and specialised agencies of the UN because it claims sovereignty over Taiwan.
In the case of the WHO, Beijing insists that it can meet the health needs of Taiwan's 24m population without its small neighbour becoming a member of the organisation.
Taiwan will submit its latest bid to the general assembly of the World Health Assembly, the WHO's decision-making body, in Geneva next month [May 2009].
Jarzembowski, who chairs parliament's Taiwan friendship group, said, "I hope that this year the Chinese authorities will see fit to drop its opposition to Taiwan having some form of active participation in the WHO.
"This is an acid test, indeed a cornerstone, of the Chinese government's apparent newfound willingness to cultivate contacts with Taiwan.
"I am calling on China to show goodwill towards Taiwan's rightful ambitions of being better represented on the international scene.
"Meaningful participation for Taiwan in the WHO is the very latest it can expect in Geneva."
His comments come ahead of a conference in Brussels on Friday (3 April ), entitled, "Managing health and environmental risks and crises, lessons from Europe and Asia."
The seminar has been organised by IFRI, the French Institute for International Relations and the Taipei Representative Office in Brussels.
The speakers include Shen Lyushun, Taiwan's representative to the EU, Belgium and Luxembourg.
A Taiwan source said that its inability to take part in the WHO has been "detrimental" to the heath rights of not only its population but also foreigners who live in Taiwan.
"It also creates a weak spot in the global epidemic surveillance network which will harm the international community."