COVID-19

[OPINION] A call for the WHO to include Taiwan in the 74th World Health Assembly

Peiyung Hsu
[OPINION] A call for the WHO to include Taiwan in the 74th World Health Assembly

Illustration by Alejandro Edoria

'[I]t takes the concerted efforts of all countries to overcome the challenge. No one should be left out in this fight.'

Every day, the unpredictable COVID-19 continues to make people around the globe realize the real threat of emerging infectious diseases. As of May 21, the pandemic has already affected 193 countries, resulted in over 164 million confirmed cases, and has killed more than 3.4 million people. It is without doubt that this pandemic has become one of the most serious crises the global community has encountered this century.

Since March 17, 2020, the Philippine government has imposed different levels of community quarantine measures to contain the spread of COVID-19. In view of the government’s rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, which began on March 1, 2021, I sincerely hope that the COVID-19 situation in the Philippines will soon be mitigated and that the economy will steadily recover.

Taiwan and the WHO

Taiwan has been among a handful of places that have kept the virus at bay. The recent spike in cases there, however, has once again demonstrated that no country is immune to pandemics, and that it takes the concerted efforts of all countries to overcome the challenge. No one should be left out in this fight.

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In this regard, we urge the World Health Organization (WHO) to set aside political considerations and include Taiwan in its meetings, mechanisms, and activities. We encourage the WHO to listen to the voice of the international community, including US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the World Medical Association, and many parliamentarians from over 100 countries, and invite Taiwan to the 74th World Health Assembly to be held from May 24 to June 1, 2021.

Taiwan and the Philippines share common values of freedom, democracy, and the rule of law. Only if we are united and support each other could all people enjoy living and working conditions that are conducive to good health. To keep the bayanihan spirit alive, we are hopeful that our Filipino friends can voice out their support for Taiwan’s participation in the 74th World Health Assembly. 

Taiwan can help and is willing to help. No one should be left behind. – Rappler.com

Peiyung Hsu is the Representative of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in the Philippines.

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