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Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Foundation of Medical Professionals Alliance in Taiwan, not ROC official, can represent Taiwan in WHO

The entry into the WHO should be based on universal health right and not by secret political deals.

When Taiwan applied to enter the WHO as a full member in 2007, its registered mail (of application) was returned at night slipped under the door of Taiwan’s Representative Office in Geneva.

This year, Taiwan didn’t send in an application, but it received a faxed (notice it adhered to the MOU, communication only through fax) invitation from the WHO addressed to “Dr. Yeh” (not Minister of Health) of “Chinese Taipei” (not Taiwan).

As reported on Taiwan News, WHA conditions risk Taiwan sovereignty, warns Tsai

The DPP chairman expressed concern that since Taiwan did not formally request an invitation to participate in the WHA, it appears that Beijing called on the WHO to issue the invitation under the framework of the secret memorandum of understanding signed with the WHO Secretariat that places authority for all interactions between the WHO and Taiwan under China`s authority.

Taiwan was allowed to attend the World Health Assembly as an observer this year, with no guarantee of renewable invitation, under the name of Chinese Taipei, but still no admission granted to become a full member of the World Health Organization.

This is a big surprise because “any proposal aimed at inviting the Taiwanese health authorities as observer at the World Health Assembly is legally unacceptable.” (read near the end of the linked document) according to Pakistan’s delegation defending for China in 2006.  Contrary to the past, this year the proposal came from China!  Is it still legally unacceptable?  So the WHA observer proposal was legally unacceptable when initiated by Taiwan, but absolutely legal now because it came from China’s authority and followed its guidelines?

It is a pity that the WHO officials ignore the health right of Taiwan’s 23 million inhabitants and 350,000 foreigner workers and let the authoritarian Chinese regime decide on how and to what extent Taiwan can take part in the activities of the WHO (just to observe the annual WHA event for 10 days).

Back in 2005, the WHO authority signed a secret Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with China with the intention to facilitate Taiwan’s meaningful participation without being a WHO member, but later proved to be in reality a guideline of restricting Taiwan’s health experts from attending health conferences, and from swapping or receiving health information and statistics from the world health body without the permission of the ineffective Chinese channel.

Since the current director general of WHO is from China’s SAR Hong-Kong, and the Chinese government had campaigned heavily for her to get her elected, it is not surprising why the WHO is quite cooperative with China’s demand.  Besides, look at who is one (you must check out this advisor, where is his medical background? compared to the other advisor Ian Smith) of the two advisors to the WHO’s Director General.

Despite China being a WHO member with poor conduct in the past, delaying the reporting of SARS epidemics causing the disease to spread, manipulating outbreak statistics, lacking ethics of China’s health professionals on organ harvesting of the Falun Gong members, melamine in milk etc., Margaret Chan, the WHO’s Director General, promised to follow the MOU when interviewed by Xinhua shortly before taking her post.

On Taiwan's participation in the WHO's technical activities, Chan said the WHO would deal with the issue in accordance with a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed with China.

Indeed, this time the WHO simply stepped aside, and waited for the Chinese official to inform the WHO what to do and under what conditions.

If the health right of 23 million people must be determined by some Chinese Communist party officials, there would be no need for the existence of an international health body called WHO because the meaning of “world” governance is just a joke, the world will let the Chinese Communist officials govern the WHO and make all the decisions.

If you haven’t noticed the trend inside the UN organization and sub organizations, you may want to take a quick survey on the number of important positions such as under secretaries, etc. currently held by Chinese nationals in all kinds of UN and sub-UN organizations.

The UN officials are occupied by too many bureaucratic diplomats sent by their authoritarian governments who cooperate with each other to vote against the promotion of human rights, Pakistan and China are good examples.  Then, it follows why there is decay in the functions of the UN, after half a century of existence of the UN, the world is still full of human rights abuses.

Taiwan’s repeated applications in the past to join the WHO had been effectively blocked by this kind of cooperation prior to the WHA assembly when the WHO Executive Committee members were discussing what topics to be included in the WHA meeting’s agendas, they simply excluded the topic of Taiwan from the agenda.

But why did the WHO administrator allow this to happen?  Because the sufferings of others don’t matter to them since they don’t live in Taiwan.

This story showed that Taiwan is always a helpful partner even risking its public health, but this (page 10 of the linked doc) is what they usually get in return,

June 19, 2007: “We do not support Taiwan’s membership in international organizations that require statehood [for membership]

although they do have a legislation,

In 2004, the 108th Congress enacted legislation (P.L. 108-235) requiring the Secretary of State to seek Taiwan’s observer status in WHO each year at its annual meeting, the World Health Assembly (WHA).

Taiwan is a country always willing to help others as reported below, but always without much help from others.

BEIJING, April 29 (Xinhua) -- People in Taiwan have donated more than 672.21 million yuan (98.5 million U.S. dollars) to aid the reconstruction of the magnitude-8.0 earthquake-hit zones by the end of 2008, said a Chinese official here Wednesday.

The journal entry of 2006 12 06 below by a European public health professor, Martin McKee, told his story about why the MOU was unworkable.  This was brought up by me during the FAPA Europe’s WHO campaign in the past, but it should be emphasized again here,

Wednesday, December 06, 2006
…Because the international surveillance system, co-ordinated by the WHO, is based on communications between WHO and the governments of its member states. Although the PRC government claims to be able to speak for Taiwan, it has no formal means of communicating with Taiwan and the WHO was unable to contact the Taiwanese authorities without getting permission from Beijing.
In the course of our research on these areas outside the global surveillance system we obtained a copy of a memorandum of understanding between the WHO and the PRC that set out the circumstances in which contact with Taiwan could take place. While it was an honest attempt by the WHO to make things work,
the guidance was totally inappropriate for dealing with an emergency. Permission had to be sought from the Chinese contact point in Geneva 5 weeks in advance of making contact. The PRC contact point could decide which Taiwanese experts should be contacted. If Taiwanese experts were invited to technical meetings an expert of similar status should be included. Taiwanese citizens were not permitted to attend WHO meetings as members of NGO delegations. Most bizarrely, because writing "Taiwan" on an envelope (necessary if it was to reach its destination) would imply recognition of its independence in the view of the PRC, all paper communications had to be faxed.

This system was put to the test during the SARS outbreak, when e-mails from the Taiwanese authorities to the WHO went unanswered for weeks. This is a ludicrous state of affairs, not only because of the consequences in cases of emergency but also because it denies the very considerable Taiwanese expertise to the WHO.

If the MOU is what the WHO officials will continue to follow when dealing with Taiwan’s participation in its activities, then I wish, to teach these bureaucrats a lesson, one day some WHO health official’s relative dies with an epidemic disease in Taiwan while Taiwan is still excluded from the WHO membership and the MOU still in application.

Only then, we may see a campaign initiated by this WHO health official to include Taiwan immediately as a full member into the WHO, or alternatively we may see a controversial damage lawsuit involving a WHO official suing the WHO organization for not including Taiwan in the first place.

As a matter of fact, a Taiwanese NGO such as the Foundation of Medical Professionals Alliance in Taiwan should represent Taiwan since neither the PRC nor the exiled ROC administration on Taiwan has sovereignty over Taiwan.

The ROC administration can represent only the people of Kinmen and Matsu islands since these islands have different status from Taiwan and PenHu.

The health rights of the 23 million people and foreign workers in Taiwan cannot be safeguarded by observing a 10-day WHA meeting.  It is simply a show put up by the bullying CCP and the surrendering KMT to provide a false image of China’s goodwill.

The world is safer with no health loophole only if Taiwan receives a full WHO membership based on universal health right.


Dezhong said...

From today's Taipei Times:

Ma now openly questions the existance of the above mentioned MOU (although as usual he does insist that China's "goodwill" was part of the reason for Taiwan being admitted WHA observer status).

I am not sure what to make of it considering Ma's history of supporting the fabricated "1992 consensus" and his opinionated interpretation of the "Taipei Treaty."

Trying to save China's face?

Άλισον said...

Excerpt from Taipeitimes,

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday cast doubt on the existence of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) allegedly signed by Beijing and the WHO in 2005, challenging the former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration’s claim that the document was signed to limit Taiwan’s participation in the organization.

“I’ve heard such an allegation, but there is no way for us to find out because we were not in power in 2005,” Ma said. “We don’t know whether such a document exists, nor do we want to see such a document exist.”

So, basically Ma was hinting that the DPP and the public health officials like Dr. M. McKee might be lying.

I have got the full text of the MOU in traditional Chinese forwarded to me some time ago. So, the MOU is not a secret doc anymore.

An incompetent leader who cannot show the history of his US permanent residence / citizenship status to this date cannot convince anybody of any words out of his mouth.

On May 17th, people in Taiwan have the rights to know a full disclosure (history) of their leader’s foreign allegiance.

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