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Foreign ministry thanks countries for WHA support


The foreign ministry has thanked the US, Canada, Japan and the EU for supporting Taiwan’s participation in the World Health Assembly (WHA).


The WHA is the decision-making body of the World Health Organization. Taiwan was blocked from WHA last year due to pressure from Beijing after attending the annual assembly as an observer for several years. It was confirmed last week that Taiwan is to be excluded from this year’s assembly as well.


The American Institute in Taiwan, the representative office of the US, voiced its support for Taiwan’s observer status in the WHA in a Facebook post on May 9. Institute spokesperson Sonia Urbom also expressed disappointment at Beijing’s continued obstruction of Taiwan’s participation.


Also on May 9, European External Action Service spokesperson Maja Kocijancic said that the EU supports a pragmatic solution to the issue of Taiwan’s participation in international organizations. Kocijancic said the EU welcomes Taiwan’s inclusion in organizations such as the World Health Organization because it is in the interests of the EU and the world.


On May 10, Matt DeCourcey, Canada’s Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs said that Canada must continue to support Taiwan’s participation in multilateral forums. DeCourcey expressed disappointment at Taiwan’s exclusion from this year’s WHA and said that Taiwan can contribute to the good of the world through international participation.


Meanwhile, on May 14, the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association posted on Facebook that Japan continues to support Taiwan’s inclusion in the WHA to prevent a gap in global efforts to prevent disease.


The foreign ministry says that this public support shows that Taiwan is a critical part of work to make the world safe from communicable disease.