Taiwan as an Observer at the 77th World Health Assembly – United States Department of State

New and existing threats to global health demand broader international cooperation. Beginning on May 27, the World Health Organization (WHO) will hold its annual World Health Assembly (WHA), where representatives from member states and health experts from around the world will discuss priorities for advancing global health and global health security. Taiwan participated in the WHA as an observer without objection from 2009 to 2016 but has since been excluded from these meetings.

The United States strongly encourages WHO to reinstate the invitation to Taiwan to participate as an observer in this year’s WHA so that the world can once again benefit from Taiwan’s expertise and experience. Taiwan’s exceptional capabilities and perspectives provide great value to inform WHA deliberations. Taiwan has repeatedly demonstrated its ability and willingness to respond to global health crises and support the global health community.

We commend WHO for taking steps over the past year to more meaningfully involve Taiwan in its technical work and to improve lines of communication. Yet Taiwan’s continued exclusion from this major global health forum undermines the inclusive global public health cooperation and security that the world demands – and urgently needs. Inviting Taiwan to observe the WHA is an important step towards reaffirming WHO’s goal of “health for all”.

Our support for Taiwan’s meaningful participation in international forums is consistent with our One China policy, which is guided by the Taiwan Relations Act, three joint communiques and six assurances.