Updated March 22, 2007
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 2007.
We, the undersigned, strongly support Taiwan's inclusion in the WHO by allowing Taiwan to attend the annual World Health Assembly in Geneva.