NO. R-204.† JOINT RESOLUTION commending Taiwanís contributions to the improvement of world health and in support of its application for observer status at the World Health Organization.

(J.R.H.22)

Offered by:† Representatives Hube of Londonderry and Freed of Dorset.

Whereas, good health is essential to every citizen of the world and access to the highest standards of health information and services is necessary to improve public health, and

Whereas, the first chapter of the World Health Organizationís (WHO) charter sets the goal of attaining the highest possible level of health for all persons, and

Whereas, Taiwanís achievements in the field of health are substantial, including one of the highest life expectancy levels in Asia; maternal and infant mortality rates comparable to those of western countries; the eradication of such infectious diseases as cholera, smallpox, and the plague; and the first nation to eradicate polio and provide children with Hepatitis B vaccinations, and

Whereas, Taiwanís 23.5 million population is larger than that of three‑fourths of the member states already in the WHO, and

Whereas, with the great potential of the cross-border spread of diseases, such as the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), tuberculosis, malaria, and the recent outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), it is crucial for all countries, including Taiwan, to have direct and unobstructed access to information and assistance from the WHO in order to limit successfully the spread of various infectious diseases, and

Whereas, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and its Taiwanese counterpart agencies have enjoyed close collaboration on a wide range of public health issues, and

Whereas, Taiwan has been voluntarily providing financial and technical support to international health activities supported by the WHO, and has donated generously to disaster relief efforts, and

Whereas, in 2001, President Bush and senior members of his administration supported Taiwanís participation in the WHO, and

Whereas, in 2002, the European Parliament urged the WHO to grant Taiwan observer status in the organization, and

Whereas, in 2002, the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate authorized the Secretary of State to endorse observer status for Taiwan at the World Health Assembly and the House repeated its endorsement this year, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly commends Taiwanís efforts to improve world health and supports its efforts to gain observer status at the World Health Organization, and be it further

Resolved:† That the Secretary of State be directed to send copies of this resolution to the President of the United States, to Tommy G. Thompson, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, to Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland, the Director-General of the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland, and to the Director-General of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Boston.