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NO. R-237.  Joint resolution supporting the application of the Republic of China (Taiwan) for observer status at the World Health Organization.


Offered by:  Senator Welch of Windsor District, Senator Ayer of Addison District, Senator Bartlett of Lamoille District, Senator Campbell of Windsor District, Senator Collins of Franklin District, Senator Condos of Chittenden District, Senator Coppenrath of Caledonia District, Senator Cummings of Washington District, Senator Doyle of Washington District, Senator Dunne of Windsor District, Senator Flanagan of Chittenden District, Senator Gander of Windham District, Senator Giard of Addison District, Senator Illuzzi of Essex-Orleans District, Senator Kitchel of Caledonia District, Senator Kittell of Franklin District, Senator Leddy of Chittenden District, Senator Lyons of Chittenden District, Senator MacDonald of Orange District, Senator Mazza of Grand Isle District, Senator Miller of Chittenden District, Senator Scott of Washington District, Senator Sears of Bennington District, Senator Shepard of Bennington District, Senator Snelling of Chittenden District, Senator Starr of Essex-Orleans District and Senator White of Windham District.

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 Organization’s (WHO) charter sets the goal of attaining the highest possible level of health for all persons, and

Whereas, Taiwan’s 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, Taiwan’s 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 Taiwan’s 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 United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate authorized the Secretary of State to endorse observer status for Taiwan at the World Health Assembly and the House repeated its endorsement in 2003, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly commends Taiwan’s 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 Michael Leavitt, United States Secretary of Health and Human Services; to Dr. Lee Jong-wook, 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.

Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont