Letter to the Editor: Support for Taiwan’s Participation in the WHO

Michael Lin Ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan) to the Federation of
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More than 2 years into the COVID-19 pandemic, the world is finally seeing a glimpse of daylight at the end of the tunnel. As countries are preparing for global postpandemic recovery, there is one country that has been battling against the pandemic without the help of the World Health Organization (WHO), the most important organization dedicated to safeguarding the right to health, since day one. Taiwan was excluded from the WHO and denied critical information during the SARS pandemic in 2002. Almost 20 years later, Taiwan still faced the same challenge amid the COVID-19 pandemic that impacted the world in an unprecedented manner.

Notwithstanding, Taiwan’s antipandemic efforts are considered one of the best practices in the world. Taiwan managed to avoid mass lockdowns and minimize death and infection rates by leveraging smart technologies, such as apps, web-based tools, and other information technologies, and integrated them with the National Health Insurance database. Taiwan’s innovative antipandemic policies and measures have made it possible to efficiently monitor and control domestic outbreaks.

Taiwan especially understands the importance of mutual assistance and cooperation with its allies and partners around the world. As a global public health stakeholder, Taiwan has made significant contributions to the international community by donating masks, PPEs, medical equipment and supplies. Taiwan has long enjoyed a robust partnership with St. Kitts and Nevis in many fields, including public health. During the pandemic, Taiwan shared with the Federation its expertise and experiences in managing the virus and providing masks, medical equipment and supplies. The Federation has also shown staunch support for Taiwan for years.

Taiwan has demonstrated itself as an indispensable partner in global public health. Moving forward, Taiwan would be and should be an integral part of global postpandemic recovery, as identification and tracking of COVID-19 variants remain an international and concerted endeavor. Viruses and diseases differentiate no countries or borders, nor should the WHO. Supporting Taiwan’s participation in the WHO is not only supporting the 23.5 million people living in Taiwan, but also helping the world by closing the unnecessary gap created by political interference on the map of global public health. Once again, Taiwan urges its international friends and partners to continue to support its participation in the WHO to enable Taiwan to contribute more in the postpandemic era.

Michael Lin

Ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan) to the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis

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