A group of 22 Taiwanese social welfare organizations on Wednesday condemned the decision by the World Health Organization to exclude Taiwan from this year’s World Health Assembly (WHA). In a joint statement, the group called on the WHO to give equal treatment to Taiwan.
The statement pointed out that Taiwan was the first country in Asia to introduce a universal health insurance system and has valuable experience to share with WHO member countries. It also said Taiwanese civic groups are carrying out over 300 projects related to public health in over 73 countries.
Chen Chieh-ju of the Taiwan Social Welfare League said the WHO has excluded Taiwan due to political pressure from China. In doing so, the global health network loses a valuable partner, she said.
"Taiwan embraces the whole world and opens its doors to make the world a better place and sees where there is a corner of the world that needs help. The WHA should not overlook the efforts that our social welfare groups make around the world," Chen said.
Also on Wednesday, a spokesperson for the majority Democratic Progressive Party slammed the decision by the WHA not to grant press passes to Taiwanese journalists for the upcoming meeting in Geneva. The spokesperson called this a betrayal of the WHO’s own standards on human rights and equal treatment.