By Paul Chen, Representative Taipei Trade Office in Fiji

As the world experienced the years of COVID-19 pandemic, it is of paramount importance that we join forces to combat and learn this global public health emergency. Taiwan has been a pivotal partner in the fight against COVID-19 and other diseases in the world as well, generously sharing its best practices and showcasing its unwavering commitment to universal health coverage and cutting-edge technologies.

Despite its significant contributions to global public health, Taiwan continues to be unjustly excluded from WHO and the WHA, solely due to political considerations that lack justification. This exclusion not only jeopardises the right to health of the 23 million people of Taiwan but also undermines WHO’s efforts to enhance the global health architecture. The COVID-19 pandemic has reminded the world that disease knows no borders. WHO has continued to call on the world to come together to fight the pandemic and work toward recovery. However, for political considerations, WHO has refused to invite Taiwan to attend the WHA as an observer or to allow Taiwan’s full participation in meetings, mechanisms, and technical meetings. This has not only deprived the 23.5 million people of Taiwan of their right to health, it has also been unhelpful in the global struggle to defeat any disease and respond the crisis. This also set an unfortunate precedent for rules-based global governance.

We are earnestly appealing to your invaluable support for Taiwan’s participation in the upcoming WHA as an observer, as well as in all WHO meetings, mechanisms, and activities. Additionally, aiming to making contributions further although without being invited and present in WHA in Geneva this year, the medical expertise oriented forum and seminars hosted by Taiwan on the topics of “International Forum on Holistic Health: Navigating the Future of Well-being and Care”, the forums of “Lessons learned from Formulation of WHO Pandemic Agreement and Revision of International Health Regulations” and “dental Services for Vulnerable Populations” will be held from 28 to 29 May 2024 in Geneva. Taiwan sincerely welcomes all the delegations while participating in the 2024 WHA also joining the aforementioned activities in Geneva.

Taiwan’s efforts, its contributions in the field of the global health to the international community, and its cooperation with partners worldwide have demonstrated that Taiwan is a force for good. It’s time Fiji and Taiwan cooperate to help regional and global partners to create a better and safer post-pandemic world for all.

Taiwan calls on every nation, including Fiji, to support its bid to attend the World Health Assembly (WHA) as an Observer in 2024 and endorse Taiwan’s regular participation in all WHO meetings, mechanisms, and activities. Taiwan also urges its international friends and partners to continue to staunchly support its participation in the global health network to enable Taiwan to contribute even more in the era to come.