Photo: 77th World Health Assembly held in Geneva, Switzerland
by Kristen Ku
BELIZE CITY, Wed. Jan. 24, 2024
The Government of Belize (GoB), through the Ministry of Health & Wellness (MOHW), has declared its support for the Republic of China (Taiwan) to participate in the upcoming 77th World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva, Switzerland.
The WHA, the decision-making body of the World Health Organization (WHO), gathers delegations from almost 200 WHO Member States to shape health policies, appoint the Director-General, oversee financial matters, and review the program budget.
In addressing their public support for Taiwan’s participation, the Minister of Health and Wellness, Hon. Kevin Bernard noted the diplomatic aspect of this support. “It’s a matter of diplomacy and supporting our ally country in making the plea that Taiwan should be invited to participate in all events held by the WHO and other UN Agencies,” he stated.
Taiwan has been a vital player in Belize’s health sector, aiding in emergency response, controlling non-communicable diseases (NCDs), upgrading health electronic systems, and enhancing overall health system capacity.
“We would like to extend our heartfelt appreciation to Hon. Kevin Emmanuel Bernard, Minister of Health and Wellness of Belize, and the Government of Belize for the unwavering support for Taiwan’s participation in the World Health Assembly (WHA). Taiwan remains committed to collaborating with Belize in public health to enhance the well-being of people in Belize,” stated the Republic of China (Taiwan) via their social media page.
Belize’s support for Taiwan’s participation is seen as crucial. In light of Taiwan’s proven track record in healthcare, especially evident in its pandemic response a few years ago. Belize is arguing that Taiwan’s experiences and knowledge could greatly contribute to global health discussions and emergency preparedness.
“Let us show the true meaning of the mission of WHO, which is to promote health, keep the world safe, and serve the vulnerable with measurable impact for people at the country level,” the MOHW stated in a press release dated Friday, January 19.
The upcoming WHA, scheduled from May 27 to June 1, 2024, will be a platform for member states to debate and decide on pressing global health issues.