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WHO board rejects Taiwan-related proposal
Updated: 2006-01-28 14:13

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday rejected a Taiwan-related proposal at its executive board meeting in preparation for the 59th annual World Health Assembly (WHA) to be held in Geneva in May.

It was the first time for such a proposal to be ruled out of the WHA agenda at the level of the WHO executive board months ahead of the WHA gathering.

The executive committee threw out the proposal raised only by Belize, an observer state in Central America, at the end of the meeting to review the temporary WHA agenda.

The proposal that the WHA invite Taiwan as an observer was turned down because its was not made to the WHO secretariat, which therefore could not take action, said WHO officials.

It was also too late to be decided upon by members of the executive board, which had already had its meeting agenda printed and distributed before the Belizean representative presented the proposal.

Since 1997, Taiwan authorities have been abetting countries that have "diplomatic" relations with it in tabling such proposals at WHO meetings, all of which have been rejected.

Resolution 2758 of the 26th session of the UN General Assembly and Resolution 25.1 of the 25th WHA have long ago affirmed explicitly that the government of the People's Republic of China is the sole legitimate government representing China at the UN and the WHO, according to Chinese officials.

The WHO Constitution and Rules of Procedure of the WHA stipulate clearly that WHO membership is open only to sovereign states, and only sovereign states and relevant international organizations can attend the WHA as observers at the invitation of the WHO director general in some prescribed circumstances, they added.

Mainland and Taiwan both belong to China. As part of China, Taiwan is not qualified to be the WHO's full or associate member or attend the WHA as an observer, stressed the Chinese officials in past WHA meetings.

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