Taiwan rejected by WHO for 12th time

25th April 2008, Comments 0 comments

The organisation rejected the membership bid on grounds that it could not handle the application.

25 April 2008

TAIPEI - The World Health Organisation (WHO) has returned the latest application by outgoing Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian to join the global health body, news reports said Friday.

Chen sent the application under the name of Taiwan on April 27, and it was returned 23 April to Taiwan's representative office in Geneva with the explanation that WHO could not handle the application, said the pro-government Liberal Times, citing unnamed sources.

Chen asked for the WHO to consider granting the island membership and observer status at the World Health Assembly, which is to be held 19-24 May.

Chen made a similar attempt in April in 2007 without success.

At past assemblies, Taiwan has asked its allies to table a motion to review Taiwan's membership bid. Some of these diplomatic allies, which number 23, were expected to try again in May.

However, the motions in the past have often been killed on opposition by China, which considers the island an integral part of China that has no rights to join international organisations as a sovereign state.

Chen's office on Friday declined to comment on the report, saying it was still clarifying the issue with Taiwan's representative office in Geneva, but it stressed there are no borders when it comes to health issues and a hole in the world health system would be created if Taiwan is excluded.

It was Taiwan's 12th bid to join the WHO, which under pressure from China has rejected the island's membership application. Taiwan and China split at the end of a civil war in 1949.

[dpa / Expatica]


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