FAPA Applauds Passage of WHO Bill in House Asian Subcommittee

On July 27, the Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific of the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed H.R. 3320, “to direct the Secretary of State to develop a strategy to regain observer status for Taiwan in the World Health Organization, and for other purposes.”

https://foreignaffairs.house.gov/…/uplo…/2017/07/HR-3320.pdf

The bill was introduced on July 19 by Representatives Ted Yoho (R-FL), Edward Royce (R-CA), Eliot Engel (D-NY), Brad Sherman (D-CA), Steve Chabot (R-OH), and Gerald Connolly (D-VA).

The U.S. Congress has been advocating for close to two decades that the U.S. administration take action to ensure Taiwan’s participation in the WHO. Regrettably, these initiatives are increasingly blocked by the rising influence of China in the WHO and other global bodies. As a major transport and shipping hub in the Asia Pacific region, with enormous volumes of people and goods passing through on a daily basis, Taiwan’s exclusion creates a dangerous gap in the global health and safety information network.

FAPA has been campaigning for Taiwan’s inclusion in the WHO since the late nineties. In 1998 then Ohio Representative Sherrod Brown and Steve Chabot for the first time introduced legislation expressing the sense of the Congress that: “(1) Taiwan should be represented in the World Health Organization; and (2) it should be U.S. policy to support Taiwan’s representation in the Organization.” The next year, Senator Frank Murkowski (R-AK) introduced similar legislation in the Senate.

That campaign culminated in binding bills being passed in both Houses in 2004 authorizing the Secretary of State to: (1) initiate a U.S. plan to endorse and obtain observer status for Taiwan at the annual week-long summit of the WHO in Geneva, Switzerland; and (2) instruct the U.S. delegation to Geneva to implement such plan.

FAPA President Peter Chen says: “It is an utter disgrace that China continues to play politics with the lives of the people of Taiwan. Taiwan’s participation in the annual WHO meeting in Geneva is solely in the hands of the PRC. It is equally disappointing that the WHO itself maintains a hands-off approach.”

Earlier this year, in an op-ed in the Taipei Times and the Liberty Times, FAPA President Peter Chen recommended that the U.S. State Department tell the Chinese that if they do not let Taiwan join the annual WHO meeting in Geneva, the U.S. should send Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price to Taipei to observe Taiwan’s first rate health care system. And, along these lines, if China does not allow Taiwan to join the annual ICAO meeting, the U.S. should send Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao to Taipei, etc…

Most recently, former chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee U.S. Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, wrote to Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price on May 5 requesting Secretary Price’s assistance in “ensuring that Taiwan receives an invitation from WHO to join this month’s WHA and encourage you to visit Taiwan in the near future to discuss opportunities to collaborate, to our mutual benefit, on public health protection measures.”

FAPA’s grassroots strength manifests itself in for instance FAPA’s Georgia chapter’s close contacts with HHS Secretary Tom Price. The chapter has regularly met with Price from the days when he was a Representative.

Similarly, FAPA’s Gainesville, FL chapter established a relationship with chairman of the Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific of the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) right after Yoho was elected in 2012.

FAPA Gainesville chapter member Dr. Shih-Wen Huang explains: “In that very first meeting, we told Congressman Yoho that Taiwan deserves full membership in the WHO. But to start with, we asked him to support Taiwan’s observer status to the WHA. In subsequent meetings, we continued to ask for his support to get Taiwan into the WHO leading to full WHO membership.”

FAPA President Peter Chen concludes: “It is ironic that the WHO sets forth as its mission that “the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being” when the people of Taiwan are left out in the cold and left to fight their battle against diseases alone.”
During the mark-up hearing, chairman Yoho stated that: “Taiwan punches above its weight when it comes to global health.” Rep. Brad Sherman added: “You can’t exclude Taiwan when you are fighting global health problems.” In a prepared statement provided to FAPA, Rep. Steve Chabot concluded: “I believe it would behoove our partners around the world to give Taiwan a seat at the table.”

台灣人公共事務會樂見亞太小組通過世界衛生組織法案

在7月27日,眾議院亞太小組無異議地通過H.R. 3320法案—「指示國務卿規劃策略以協助台灣重新取得世界衛生組織(WHO)觀察員地位,與其他目的。」

https://foreignaffairs.house.gov/…/uplo…/2017/07/HR-3320.pdf

這項法案在7月19日由眾議員約霍(R-FL)、羅伊斯(R-CA)、恩格爾(D-NY)、薛爾曼(D-CA)、夏波(R-OH),與康諾里(D-VA)提出。

美國國會已經倡議近二十年,呼籲美國政府作出行動以確保台灣能參與世界衛生組織。
很不幸地,隨著中國在世界衛生組織與其他全球機構的影響力與日俱增,這些努力與行動逐年付諸流水。台灣作為亞太地區交通與運輸的主要樞紐,每日都有豐厚的貨物與人力穿梭;排除台灣造成了世界健康與安全資訊網絡中很大的一個漏洞。

台灣人公共事務會(FAPA)自九零年代末期就開始為台灣加入世界衛生組織倡議。在1998年,兩位俄亥俄州眾議員─共和黨夏波和民主黨布朗第一次提出闡述國會共識的法案:1.台灣應該要進入世界衛生組織;以及2.美國政策應當支持台灣參與世界衛生組織。隔一年,參議員穆考斯基也在參議院中提出了一項類似的法案。這樣的倡議最終在2004年成功促成了一項在兩院中通過的法案,授權國務卿1. 在美國啟動一項計畫,讓世衛組織在日內瓦、瑞士的年度會議上批准和授予台灣觀察員地位; 以及 2.指示美國代表前往日內瓦執行該項計畫。

FAPA會長陳正義說道:「中國持續地以政治手段玩弄台灣人民的性命,他們應該感到羞恥。現在唯一阻礙台灣參與日內瓦世界衛生大會的就只有中國的打壓而已。同樣令人失望的是,世界衛生組織竟然在這樣不公平的對峙中銷聲匿跡。」

今年稍早,陳正義在自由時報與英文的台北時報(Taipei Times)的專欄中建議美國國務院告訴中國,若他們不讓台灣參與一年一度在日內瓦舉行的世界衛生大會,美國就會派其衛生與公眾服務部長普萊斯至台灣參觀摩台灣一流的醫療照護系統。以此類推,若中國持續阻擋台灣參與國際民航組織(ICAO),那麼美國就應該派美國運輸部長趙小蘭至台北···

在今年的5月5日,美國眾議院外交事務委員會前任主席蘿絲蕾婷娜眾議員便曾寫信給普萊斯部長,呼籲他協助台灣「確保台灣能夠收到世界衛生組織大會的邀請函,並且鼓勵你盡早拜訪台灣,商討台美在公共衛生上的台美合作可能性、共同利益與保護措施。」

FAPA的草根能量也在這個議題中發揮得淋漓盡致,例如FAPA喬治亞分會一向都與普萊斯部長保持友好關係,在他還是國會議員的時候便常定期拜訪他、討論台灣相關議題。

類似的力量也在FAPA北佛州分會中展現,該分會從2012年起,就與剛當選的眾議院亞太小組的約霍眾議員(R-FL)維持極為良好的關係。分會成員黃碩文先生解釋道:「在我們第一次與約霍議員碰面的會議裡,我們就向他提出,台灣應該得到世界衛生組織的完整會員資格。作為第一步,我們要求他支持台灣以觀察員身分參與世界衛生大會。在後續的會議裡,我們也持續呼籲他支持台灣以會員身分加入世界衛生組織。」

FAPA會長陳正義以此作結:「最諷刺的是,世界衛生組織的組織目標宣稱『享有可達成的最高健康水準是每個人的基本權利之一』,但台灣的人民卻被冷冰冰地拒之於門外,孤獨地與疾病奮戰。」

在法案聽證會上,主席約霍強調:「台灣雖然小,但是在全球衛生扮演的角色卻是舉足輕重。」薛爾曼眾議員更補充道:「若是想要解決全球的健康醫療問題,就不能把台灣排除在外。」在夏波眾議員提供給FAPA的聲明中,他如此作結:「我認為幫助台灣坐上會議桌,我們的所有盟友都責無旁貸。」

(July 27, 2017) FAPA Applauds Passage of WHO Bill in House Asian Subcommittee / 台灣人公共事務會樂見亞太小組通過世界衛生組織法案
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