A Taiwanese delegation is set to travel to Geneva regardless of whether it receives an invitation to this year’s World Health Assembly. That was the word from Health Minister Chen Shih-chung on Thursday.
This year’s WHA meeting is scheduled to take place from May 22nd to 31st. Taiwan has attended as an observer for the past eight years. But this year, China’s boycott of the Tsai Ing-wen administration may mean Taiwan is not invited.
Chen told a meeting of the Legislature’s Social Welfare and Environmental Hygiene Committee that the Taiwanese delegation is still preparing to attend the meeting under the name Chinese Taipei.
Later, however, in response to questions from the media, Chen also said Taiwan is preparing contingency plans in case an invitation does not arrive. Chen said he will lead a delegation to Geneva regardless of whether an invitation comes. He said this will showcase Taiwan’s medical contributions to the international community. He also said that the health ministry is already working to contact various NGO groups about the delegation’s visit.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister David Lee says Taiwan’s chances of receiving an invitation this year are poor. According to the foreign ministry, some other WHA observers have already received invitations. However, Lee said that friendly nations are working behind the scenes to support Taiwan’s bid and that the government must continue working to secure a spot at the meeting.