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President Tsai meets WHA action team
President Tsai meets WHA action team

At noon on May 27, President Tsai Ing-wen met with members of Taiwan's World Health Assembly (WHA) action team, praising the team members for uniting efforts at home and abroad to convey Taiwan's message to the world. President Tsai said that the international community's support for Taiwan is increasing, and that a record-high 12 allies and 13 like-minded countries voiced support for Taiwan this year. The president also stated that Taiwan is the world's partner and an integral part of the global public health community, and encouraged everyone to continue working together to help secure broader international space for Taiwan. 

A translation of President Tsai's remarks follows:

First, I would like to express my gratitude to the members of our WHA action team, who just returned from Geneva. The 76th WHA began this week. Although it is regrettable that the WHA has yet to include a proposal item in its agenda to invite Taiwan to participate in the WHA, Taiwan's efforts to engage with the world will continue apace, and the best proof of that is the WHA action team's performance. 

As Minister of Health and Welfare Hsueh Jui-Yuan (薛瑞元) once said, "To seek WHA participation for a long time without success is certainly disappointing. But so long as we do not give up, there is no need to rush." As long as we continue to strengthen ourselves and make friends around the world, there will, one day, be a breakthrough.

Over the past few days, our WHA action team was in Geneva. They not only held numerous bilateral talks that expanded government-to-government medical and public health cooperation, but also collaborated with the World Medical Association (WMA) to hold a forum on emergency medicine. Through the Global Cooperation and Training Framework (GCTF), members of the team also represented Taiwan in an exchange of COVID-19 prevention and treatment experiences with the United States, Japan, and Australia so that together, we can be prepared for the next pandemic.

I want to thank the members of the WHA action team for consolidating Taiwan's efforts, both here and overseas, actively bringing the voice of Taiwan to the rest of the world, and winning international support amid difficult circumstances. Your experiences in interacting with other countries in Geneva are of great value to Taiwan and have demonstrated to the world that Taiwan is willing and able to contribute more to the international community.

Over the past few years, thanks to the efforts of these annual WHA action teams, international support for Taiwan has grown stronger. In addition to the 12 diplomatic allies that submitted a proposal at the World Health Organization (WHO) on behalf of Taiwan, 13 other like-minded nations spoke out in support of Taiwan at this year's WHA proceedings, which is an all-time high.

Taiwan is a partner to the world and a part of the global public health community. Thanks to everyone's hard work, Taiwan is not alone in its quest to take part in the WHA and the WHO. Thank you once again for your efforts. Let us continue working together to help secure broader international space for Taiwan.

After President Tsai concluded her remarks, Minister Hsueh presented a photo collage to show President Tsai some of the highlights of the action team's activities in Geneva.

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