House Passes Bill Re. “WHO For Taiwan”

The House today passed legislation (HR441) on the suspension calendar mandating that the U.S. Secretary of State A(1) to initiate a United States plan to endorse and obtain observer status for Taiwan at the annual week-long summit of the World Health Assembly in May 2003 in Geneva, Switzerland; and (2) to instruct the United States delegation to Geneva to implement that plan.

The bill, introduced on January 29, Rep. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), with 29 co-sponsors presses the Bush Administration to put some teeth into the effort to obtain meaningful participation by Taiwan in international organizations.

Rep. David Wu stated: As a self-governing and democratic island of twenty-three million people, and as a potential member with a great deal to contribute to the WHO, I strongly support WHO observer status for Taiwan.

After the debate, the bill passed by voice vote. The is now automatically referred to the Senate. It needs to pass the Senate before it can be sent to the President for a signature so it can become law.

FAPA President Ming-chi Wu, Ph.D. states: Overall, the U.S. should support the right to international recognition of democratic Taiwan.  This WHO bill is a step in the right direction. Despite the looming war on Iraq, we hope Mr. Bush presses the State Department to explore every opportunity to make this happen.

Together with the letter to Secretary of State Colin Powell dated February 26, we have high expectations that the letter sent by the Taiwan Caucus to Secretary of State Colin Powell on February 26, urging the Secretary to instruct the U.S. delegation to Geneva to speak out in favor of Taiwan’s participation this coming May, will produce concrete results.@

And finally, passing the bill is a nice gift to Taiwan’s health Minister Shiing-jer Twu who is currently in Washington, D.C. rallying support for Taiwan’s WHO bid this coming May in Geneva.

(March 11, 2003) House Passes Bill Re. “WHO For Taiwan”