Say Yes to Taiwan's Bid to WHO
GoPetition.com, a leading petition hosting portal, has posted a petition "Say Yes to Taiwan's Bid to WHO" which calls on people around the world who are concerned about global public health and life security issues to voice their concern and support to Taiwan's bid to participate in the World Health Organization (WHO).
Taiwan has been excluded from the United Nations and its related organizations since 1971. Since then Taiwan has neither been privy to the health related work of the World Health Organization (WHO) especially regarding the spread of infectious diseases. With the recent warning of many countries on the possibility that avian influenza could evolve into a pathogen deadly to humans, we face the threat of a worldwide epidemic.
The goal of the World Health Organization is the "attainment by all peoples of the highest possible level of health." Taiwan's exclusion from the WHO is basically contradictory with this objective. It places the health of not only the Taiwanese but also the entire global community at risk. Taiwan qualifies as an independent and sovereign state with a defined territory, a permanent population, an effective government, and a capacity to enter into relations with other states.
Despite exclusion from the WHO, Taiwan actively cooperates on numerous international health projects and provides much humanitarian assistance as part of its responsibility to the international community. The latest example, Taiwan International Health Action (Taiwan IHA), established in February 2006, aims to integrate Taiwan's human and material resources into an international medical and health affairs network. These efforts have been highly recognized and praised internationally.
This prohibition can be rectified by allowing Taiwan to participate when the World Health Assembly (WHA), the WHO's decision-making body, meets in Geneva in May 2006.
The WHO has a responsibility to ensure that Taiwan's government and health professionals are given direct and unobstructed access to vital health information, particularly in the prevention and spread of deadly diseases such as SARS, HIV/AIDS and Avian Flu.
We, the undersigned, strongly support Taiwan's inclusion in the WHO by allowing Taiwan to attend the annual World Health Assembly in Geneva.
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