20 May, 2020

Van Baalen: Taiwan must be made WHO observer

The 73rd World Health Assembly (WHA) took place on 18-19 May. Unlike previous assemblies, this time delegates met online for the first-ever virtual conference due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

While the pandemic dominated the WHA agenda, not every country was invited to participate in the discussions and share their examples and best practices. Taiwan’s efficient work in preventing the spread of the virus was not enough for the World Health Organization (WHO) to grant it a seat at the table – a seat Taiwan hasn’t been invited to take since 2016, given diplomatic tensions.

ALDE Party President Hans van Baalen fully supports the proposal of the United States and Canada to give Taiwan an observer status at WHA meetings. Unfortunately, there was no decision made this week, and the discussion is postponed to a resumed WHA session that will take place later this year. Van Baalen expressed his disappointment at the delay but continues to support Taiwan’s observer status and urges the global community to do the same.

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