Taiwan as an Observer in the World Health Assembly
Today’s unprecedented health threats demand close international cooperation. The World Health Assembly (WHA) is the decision-making body of the World Health Organization (WHO), and its annual meeting is an opportunity to drive cooperation towards ending the acute phase of the COVID-19 pandemic and advancing global health and global health security. We strongly advocate for the WHO to invite Taiwan to participate as an observer and lend its expertise to the solution-seeking discussions at the 75th WHA this May.
Inviting Taiwan to attend the WHA as an observer would exemplify the WHO’s commitment to an inclusive approach to international health cooperation and “health for all.” Taiwan is a highly capable, engaged, and responsible member of the global health community, and it has been invited to participate as an observer in previous WHA meetings. Taiwan and its distinct capabilities and approaches – including its significant public health expertise, democratic governance, resilience to COVID-19, and robust economy – offer considerable value to inform the WHA’s deliberations. There is no reasonable justification to exclude its participation, which will benefit the world. As we continue to fight COVID-19 and other emerging health threats, Taiwan’s isolation from the preeminent global health forum is unwarranted and undermines inclusive global public health cooperation.
Viruses do not respect borders, and no one is safe until everyone around the world is safe from such threats. The United States will continue to partner with the WHO to demonstrate global, inclusive leadership in making the world healthier and better able to prevent, detect, prepare for, and respond to health emergencies.
We will continue to support Taiwan’s membership in international organizations where statehood is not a requirement and encourage Taiwan’s meaningful participation in organizations where its membership is not possible, in line with our One China policy, which is guided by the Taiwan Relations Act, the three U.S.-China Joint Communiques, and the Six Assurances.