《TAIPEI TIMES》 Representative offices make call for WHA inclusion
Officials from Taiwan’s representative offices of five “Danube” nations — Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Poland — hold signs in support of Taiwan’s participation at this month’s World Health Assembly. Photo: screenshot from YouTube
By Lu Yi-hsuan and William Hetherington / Staff reporter, with staff writer
Taiwan’s representative offices in Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Poland have jointly produced a video calling for Taiwan’s participation in the annual World Health Assembly （WHA）, which is to begin on Sunday.
In the video, members of the five representative offices can be seen holding banners reading “Taiwan can help” and “Taiwan is helping.”
International Ombudsman Institute secretary-general Werner Amon and Czech Senator Marek Hilser also appear in the video, saying that democracies should work together in the face of the war in Ukraine, the COVID-19 pandemic and global economic crises.
Former Hungarian lawmaker Bana Tibor in the video calls Taiwan a “model for universal health coverage,” and Slovakia’s Bratislava Province Governor Juraj Droba calls Taiwan a “model for the world,” citing the country’s successes during the pandemic.
Droba said that Taiwan’s voice should not be ignored in the field of medicine.
Arkadiusz Mularczyk, vice chairman of the Polish House of Representatives’ Foreign Affairs Committee, appears in the video saying that Taiwan’s commitment to improving global public health makes it important in maintaining global stability.
Citing Taiwan’s recent donations to Ukraine, Slovak Parliamentary Friendship Group chairman Peter Osusky said that Taiwan is a force of good for the international community.
“The world should hear Taiwan’s voice. Please give Taiwan a seat at the World Health Assembly,” he said.
Representative to Hungary Liu Shih-chung （劉世忠）, Representative to the Czech Republic Ko Liang-juei （柯良叡）, Representative to Austria Katharine Chang （張小月）, Representative to Slovakia David Lee （李南陽） and Representative to Poland Bob Chen （陳龍錦） also appear in the video calling for Taiwan’s participation in the WHA.
Lee said that Taiwan is an important member of the international community, not only through its contributions to world health, but through its involvement in humanitarian missions, including US$33 million in donations, plus and 650 tonnes of materials toward efforts to assist Ukraine.
Separately, President Tsai Ing-wen （蔡英文） yesterday on Facebook thanked those in the international community who had supported Taiwan’s WHA participation bid.
“Taiwan has the determination and ability to help, and will continue to make important contributions to the international community,” she wrote.
“Taiwan’s participation will surely help to build a stronger health system for the world to better face future challenges,” Tsai said.
Additional reporting by Su Yung-yao
Representative to Ireland Yang Tzu-pao, front row in green jacket, and Taiwanese living in Ireland hold a banner and the national flags of both nations in Dublin on Sunday to urge the WHO to grant Taiwan a seat at this month’s World Health Assembly. Photo courtesy of the Taipei Representative Office in Ireland via CNA