Focus Taiwan: U.S. calls on WHO to engage directly with Taiwan

Taipei, Feb. 7 (CNA) The United States called on the World Health Organization (WHO) during a meeting Thursday to directly engage with Taiwan to better aid the global effort against the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) which has been declared a global health emergency.

At an executive board meeting of the WHO in Geneva, Switzerland, Andrew Bremberg, permanent representative of the U.S. to the Office of the United Nations, said work needs to be done to identify gaps in preparedness to ensure timely detection and rapid response to public health threats.

“For the rapidly evolving coronavirus it is a technical imperative that WHO present visible public health data on Taiwan as an infected area and engage directly with Taiwan public health authorities on actions,” he said.

Representatives of Taiwan’s diplomatic allies Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Nauru, Saint Kitts and Nevis, and the Marshall Islands have also called for Taiwan’s inclusion in the WHO to ensure the welfare of its 23 million people is addressed.

Meanwhile, the representative offices of Canada, Australia and the U.S. posted messages on their Facebook accounts Friday supporting Taiwan’s meaningful participation in the WHO and international public health forums.

A number of countries, including the U.S., Japan, Canada and the European Union, have renewed their support for Taiwan’s inclusion in the WHA as an observer over the past week amid the ongoing 2019-nCoV outbreak.

Since 2017, the WHO has not invited Taiwan to the World Health Assembly (WHA) or its meetings at the insistence of China, following the election of President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) of the independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party in May 2016 and her refusal to accept the “1992 consensus” as a precondition for cross-strait talks.

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https://focustaiwan.tw/politics/202002070007