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Home Editorials of Interest Taipei Times WHO demonstrates true motives

WHO demonstrates true motives

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When US President Donald Trump pointed the finger at the WHO, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus did not face the music; instead, to distract from the mounting pressure, he groundlessly claimed that he was personally attacked by Taiwan with racial discrimination.

The outrageous accusation has stirred scads of uproar in vibrant Taiwanese society.

The backfire was presented as a full-page advertisement in the New York Times. After several hours, the WHO highlighted 13 points with misleading pieces of information to gainsay the ad.

Apparently, the WHO has spent time preparing to fight against the Taiwan issue, even though Taiwan had no intention to start a war in the first place.

When an NHK journalist raised a question about Taiwan at an international news conference, again, the pundits of the WHO showed how ready they were to retort questioning voices.

The WHO’s swift management on matters about Taiwan left many wondering why it could not have exhibited this kind of efficient executive ability when the COVID-19 pandemic was still in the nascent stage.

The WHO could have taken many measures if it were truly professional and politically neutral; unfortunately, they dropped the ball from the beginning.

It is natural for an international public organization to be supervised, especially in an era of pandemic, but when the onslaught of criticism flooded the WHO, the leader did not reflect on his dereliction of duty, but chose to evade the blame.

Tedros keeps professing the compassionate tenets of the WHO, but has already betrayed the core value of humanity. It is far beyond disappointing to witness the WHO so paralyzed in this pandemic.

He is actually not the scourge of the tragedy. He is just a symbolic figure who represents how one country’s infiltration can damage an essential organization that is supposed to be purely led by professional and objective judgements.

There are many like him losing political neutrality scattered throughout the WHO.

Together, the loss of political neutrality and China’s lack of transparency have contributed to this disaster, throwing the world into a suffering hell.

The WHO’s blindness to China likely hushing up the true pandemic status should be reflected on; as should the panels’ clouded and delayed guidance.

The relationship between China and the WHO should be scrutinized. It is crystal clear that this incompetent organization needs an overhaul.

For Taiwan, the upside is that the WHO is finally forced to officially communicate with it, which used to be taboo.

The WHO gathers worldwide medical elites and has an extraordinary foundation to do its work, but it spoiled the resources to bark up the wrong tree.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ statements from 2009 to last year show that Taiwan was allowed to attend only 30 percent of technical meetings and was rejected without reason from the rest; the regional office for the Western Pacific barely provides Taiwan any relevant health information; and the development of Taiwanese vaccines has been deterred because the WHO would not recognize them.

Taiwan’s situation is a far cry from comprehensive participation in the WHO. If someone claims that there is no need for Taiwan to have membership because China owns it and has taken good care of it, they must either be lying or have been fooled.

Taiwan is poised to be a part of the medical community. The WHO should make no mistake that a pandemic cannot isolate Taiwan from the world, but its political prejudice can.

It is a moment of reflection for the WHO and if it must spend some precious time going after a particular nation, Taiwan is the last one it should single out.

Janet Hung is a physical therapist.

Taipei Times - Editorials 2020/04/30

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Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Wu Chih-chung, center, speaks at “Taiwan’s Opportunities under Indo-Pacific Security Strategies” forum organized by the Taiwan Think Tank in Taipei yesterday.
Photo: Chang Chia-ming, Taipei Times

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Wu Chih-chung (吳志中) yesterday reaffirmed the government’s commitment and readiness to working with the US and Japan to maintain regional peace and stability, adding that the country aims to be recognized as an important partner with countries in the Indo-Pacific region.