24 May 2019

Pacific allies voice support for Taiwan at WHO meeting

2:51 pm on 24 May 2019

Taiwan's Pacific allies have rallied behind its bid to join the World Health Organisation, or WHO.

Wavy and rippled national flag of Taiwan background.

Photo: 123RF

The body had been holding its annual talks in Geneva and a Tuesday agenda item to discuss Taiwan's participation was voted down.

Taiwan has previously accused the WHO of bowing to pressure from China by excluding it.

But earlier this week, Tuvalu, Nauru, Solomon Islands, Kiribati, Palau and the Marshall Islands voiced support for Taiwan.

The chief executive of Tuvalu's health ministry, Karlos Lee Moresi, said Taiwan has helped Tuvalu achieve universal health coverage.

"We are grateful for Taiwan's help despite being left out of WHO. We will never be able to say categorically that we have achieved Universal Health Coverage and leaving no one behind if 23 million citizens of Taiwan remain excluded."

Karlos Lee Moresi said Taiwan has provided Tuvalu with medical supplies and training.

Earlier this week, Taiwan's Foreign Ministry thanked the six Pacific countries for writing letters to the WHO asking for Taiwan to be included.