U.S. Senator Calls For Taiwan’s Full WHO Membership After Discovery Of First H7N9 Case In Taiwan

In light of the discovery last week of the first H7N9 case in Taiwan, long-time friend of Taiwan Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry dated April 26, 2013 calling for full WHO membership for Taiwan.

Senator Brown wrote: “Taiwan’s exclusion not only creates a dangerous gap in the exchange of information between countries, but puts global health monitoring and security at risk due to Taiwan’s proximity to China during this time of virulent outbreak.”

He added: “In April 2002, President Bush signed Public Law No. 107-10, which included a clause mandating the Secretary of State to endorse “meaningful participation” for Taiwan in the World Health Assembly (WHA). Regrettably, very little progress has been made since that time.”

The Senator concluded: “I urge the Administration to make a concerted effort to build a coalition of like-minded nations – in particular the member states of the European Union – in support of Taiwan’s membership.  As global health threats emerge, the public health of our nation increasingly depends on cooperation and communications between every nation. It is in America’s best interest to ensure that Taiwan is a full member of the WHO.”

FAPA President Mark Kao, Ph.D. states: “Taiwan’s participation in the annual weeklong WHA meeting is a charade. The truth is that China continues to play politics with the lives of the people of Taiwan by blocking Taiwan’s real participation in – and full access to the WHO. This is a severe infringement on the basic rights of the Taiwanese people.”

Dr. Kao concludes: “Taiwan’s membership in the WHO is not only in the interest of the people of Taiwan, it is of critical importance to the rest of the world as well. What if someone carrying the H7N9 virus gets on a plane in Taiwan and disembarks in any other country? The world can no longer afford to let Taiwan be the missing health link in the chain of Pacific Rim countries.”

Meanwhile, on April 26, Rep. Kerry Bentivolio (R-MI) introduced H Res 158 (aka the “Taiwan Travel Act”) calling for the lifting of all restrictions on hi-level visits between the United States and Taiwan. The bill, which would have the force of law when passed by the House, Senate and signed by the president declares “that it should be the policy of the United States to encourage visits between the United States and Taiwan at all levels.”

美參議員呼籲支持台灣加入世界衛生組織

上週台灣爆發首例H7N9禽流感個案後,長期友台的俄亥俄州民主黨參議員布朗(Sherrod Brown)於426日致函美國國務卿凱瑞,呼籲支持台灣加入世界衛生組織。

布朗議員寫道:「將地理位置靠近中國的台灣排除於世衛之外,不只在國際資訊交換面上留下一個危險的漏洞,也在這一波流感危機中,將全球的衛生監控與安全置於風險中。」

他並表示:「布希總統於2002年曾簽署107-10號公共法,其中的一項法條賦予國務院『支持台灣有意義參與世界衛生大會』的責任。遺憾的是,從那以後,這項任務並未有太多進展。」

布朗議員總結道:「我呼籲政府應該與友邦特別是歐盟各國一起合作,支持台灣加入世界衛生組織。在新一波疫情崛起的同時,美國人民的健康,仰賴世界各國共同合作;支持台灣加入世界衛生組織符合美國的最大利益。」

台灣人公共事務會會長高龍榮博士表示:「台灣獲准參與為期一週的世界衛生大會只是一種表面功夫。事實上,中國藉由阻擋台灣實際參與世界衛生組織、阻止台灣獲得世衛所提供的資訊等手法,持續對台灣人民的性命使弄政治操作。這種行為嚴重侵犯了台灣人的基本權益。」

高博士總結:「台灣加入世衛不只是台灣人的權益,對於世界更是至關重要。若有台灣人感染了H7N9後旅遊至其他國家,怎麼辦?世界各國不能再任由台灣繼續被排擠於環太平洋諸國之外,成為衛生保健網的漏洞。」

另外,密西根州共和黨眾議員班迪福留(Kerry Bentivolio)於426日提出編號H.RES.158的「台美官員旅行法」。該議案呼籲取消台美雙方高階官員互訪旅行的限制,並提道:「美國的政策應該鼓勵台美各級官員互相拜訪。」該法案若通過參眾兩院,並經由總統簽署,將具行政法律效力。

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April 26, 2013

The Honorable John Kerry
Secretary of State
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street, NW
Washington, DC 20520

Dear Secretary Kerry:

I am writing to encourage the Administration to honor the US commitment to Taiwan’s participation in the World Health Organization (WHO).

Public health threats like the recent outbreak of the H7N9 virus are not constrained by national boundaries. The WHO has already declared that the H7N9 outbreak in China is believed to be more lethal than the 2004 and 2007 outbreak of H5N1.

Since May 2009, Taiwan has been limited to an observer status in the WHO. Taiwan’s exclusion not only creates a dangerous gap in the exchange of information between countries, but puts global health monitoring and security at risk due to Taiwan’s proximity to China during this time of virulent outbreak.

In April 2002, President Bush signed Public Law No. 107-10, which included a clause mandating the Secretary of State to endorse “”meaningful participation”” for Taiwan in the World Health Assembly (WHA). Regrettably, very little progress has been made since that time, and, most recently, and seen in the observer status.

I urge the Administration to make a concerted effort to build a coalition of like-minded nations – in particular the member states of the European Union – in support of Taiwan’s membership.  As global health threats emerge, the public health of our nation increasingly depends on cooperation and communications between every nation.  It is in America’s best interest to ensure that Taiwan is a full member of the WHO.

I look forward to working with you on this important issue.

Sincerely,

Sherrod Brown
United States Senator

(April 26, 2013) U.S. Senator Calls For Taiwan’s Full WHO Membership After Discovery Of First H7N9 Case In Taiwan / 美參議員呼籲支持台灣加入世界衛生組織