Saint Lucia Supports Taiwan's Participation at the 73rd World Health Assembly
Press Release from the Embassy of Saint Lucia to the Republic of China, Taiwan
Saint Lucia has asked the World Health Organization (WHO) to invite Taiwan to participate in this month’s 73rd meeting of the World Health Assembly (WHA) as an observer and to grant the country full access to all WHO meetings, mechanisms, and activities.
In a letter to Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO’s Director-General, Saint Lucia’s Minister for External Affairs, the Honourable Sarah Flood-Beaubrun, requested the inclusion in the WHA’s provisional agenda of an item entitled “Inviting Taiwan to participate in the World Health Assembly as an observer.” She provided a draft resolution formally making the request, which she asked the Director-General to circulate to other Member States as an official WHA document.
The Minister reminded the Director-General that for eight years, until 2016, Taiwan had been invited to the WHA as an observer and its participation was widely acclaimed. She pointed out that excluding Taiwan from the WHO “seriously compromises the Organization’s disease prevention efforts, undermines the interests of its members and endangers global health”.
Nothing more aptly illustrates the urgent necessity for inclusiveness and the grave danger of leaving Taiwan out of the global health network, than the current devastating COVID-19 pandemic.
The Minister highlighted Taiwan’s tremendous success in containing the spread of COVID-19 within its borders and its advanced research and development, including in developing COVID-19 rapid diagnostic tests. She then pointed out that Taiwan can assist the WHO by sharing its experience given that its health care reform is world-class. According to the data of global database Numbeo, Taiwan is the country that ranks highest on the Health Care Index.
The Minister commended Taiwan’s assistance to other nations in developing their public health capacities and for providing international humanitarian relief. In the days leading up to the World Health Assembly, Saint Lucia will be canvassing support from other WHO members for the Resolution.