WHO must make clear if we are not invited: Official

Time is running out for Taiwan to register for this year's World Health Assembly (WHA), with the deadline coming up on Monday. Without an invitation to attend, however, an official from the health and welfare ministry said Friday that the government would continue its efforts unless the World Health Organization states explicitly that Taiwan is not invited.

The WHA is the convening body of the World Health Organization (WHO). It will hold its annual meeting in Geneva from May 22. Taiwan has attended for the past eight years as an observer. This year, however, there has been no invitation, due to the Chinese government's boycott of the Tsai Ing-wen administration.

The government has stressed the importance of Taiwan's participation in the event. It has emphasized the country's contribution to international health issues and pointed out that diseases do not recognize borders. The government has also said it has contingency plans in place should an invitation not arrive.

A number of civic groups have already announced their intention to travel to Geneva to raise awareness of Taiwan's exclusion while the WHA takes place. These include the Foundation of Medical Professionals Alliance in Taiwan, the European Federation of Taiwan Health Alliance, and the Taiwan-UN Alliance (TAIUNA), among others.

Source: Radio Taiwan International