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    《TAIPEI TIMES》 Ten nations back Taiwan at the WHA

    
Lithuanian Minister of Health Arunas Dulkys speaks at the World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland, yesterday.
Photo: screen grab from WHA livestream

    Lithuanian Minister of Health Arunas Dulkys speaks at the World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland, yesterday. Photo: screen grab from WHA livestream

    2022/05/25 03:00

    PEACE THROUGH HEALTH: Lithuanian health minister Arunas Dulkys said that the COVID-19 pandemic is a global crisis that needs global responses, including Taiwan

    / Staff writer, with CNA, GENEVA, Switzerland

    Ten nations on Monday voiced their support for Taiwan’s inclusion in the World Health Assembly (WHA) during the second day of the annual meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, after a proposal to invite it to the gathering was not put on the agenda.

    The 10 nations that spoke up for Taiwan were two diplomatic allies — Paraguay and Guatemala — as well as the US, the UK, France, Germany, Australia, Canada, Luxembourg and Lithuania.

    It was the first time that a Lithuanian health minister had publicly voiced the nation’s support for Taipei’s WHA bid by directly naming Taiwan at the annual gathering.

    In his address, Lithuanian Minister of Health Arunas Dulkys said that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is a global crisis that needs global responses.

    “We emphasize the importance and adherence to the principle of effective multilateralism to be able to build a secure global health architecture,” Dulkys said.

    “Therefore, we call on you to invite Taiwan to participate as an observer at the WHA, and increase Taiwan’s meaningful participation in all WHO forums and mechanisms,” he added.

    “This step would allow the international community to benefit from Taiwan’s experience, and scientific and technical expertise, as well as support the WHO’s mission to advance global health and commitment to working for peace through health, and for health through peace,” he said.

    In his address at the WHA last year, Dulkys did not directly name Taiwan, but said that all nations needed to be involved in global health issues.

    Meanwhile, US Department of Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary for Global Affairs Loyce Pace said it was regrettable that Taiwan had once again been excluded from the WHA.

    “The US deeply regrets that Taiwan, a critical partner contributing constructively to global health, has been excluded from attending the assembly as an observer,” Pace said. “This administration believes in the need for strong global relationships to combat COVID-19, and to prevent and prepare for future health emergencies.”

    The speakers representing the UK, France, Germany, Paraguay and Guatemala all made similar appeals in Geneva on Monday.

    They spoke after the WHA assembly on Monday morning rejected a proposal by 13 of Taiwan’s diplomatic allies to invite it to attend the WHA as an observer.

    The WHA — the WHO’s decisionmaking body — is holding its annual gathering until Saturday and national representatives are attending in-person for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    新聞來源:TAIPEI TIMES

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