The 74th World Health Assembly is held in Geneva and online this week, with health ministers and officials from across the globe discussing the theme of Ending this pandemic, preventing the next: building together a healthier, safer and fairer world.
This important topic cannot be approached comprehensively without the inclusion as Taiwan as an attendee with observer status.
The WHA’s credibility now, more than ever, depends on its approach to Taiwan.
The government in Taipei not only instigated incredibly successful initiatives to protect the people of Taiwan, but it has also been an extremely responsible international player in offering and providing aid to other countries battling the pandemic.
There is much the world can learn from Taiwan’s approach to COVID.
But Beijing is blocking Taiwan’s inclusion, as it has successfully done for the past few years.
This year, Taiwan should be invited back to the WHA fold. Its observer status should be reinstated.
This should happen not only because Taiwan has much to contribute, but also because right now it needs some of that international goodwill it has so freely shared, to be returned.
Following months of keeping the pandemic under control, new cases in Taiwan have suddenly surged into the hundreds, thought to have been initially linked to a group of China Airlines pilots and a hotel where they stayed.
As this pandemic continues to prove, international borders are of little consequence to it.
But Taiwan should not be of little consequence to the WHA. Taiwan has much to contribute on this significant health crisis.
The Australian government is rightly in support of Taiwan’s meaningful participation at the WHA, as is the US and numerous other nations.
The inclusion of Taiwan is now a supplementary item on the health meeting’s agenda. Around the world, many eyes and ears are fixed on this important discussion.