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[[Page 117 STAT. 769]]

Public Law 108-28
108th Congress

                                 An Act


 
         Concerning participation of Taiwan in the World Health 
            Organization. <<NOTE: May 29, 2003 -  [S. 243]>> 

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. CONCERNING THE PARTICIPATION OF TAIWAN IN THE WORLD 
                              HEALTH ORGANIZATION (WHO).

    (a) Findings.--The Congress makes the following findings:
            (1) Good health is important to every citizen of the world 
        and access to the highest standards of health information and 
        services is necessary to improve the public health.
            (2) Direct and unobstructed participation in international 
        health cooperation forums and programs is beneficial for all 
        parts of the world, especially with today's greater potential 
        for the cross-border spread of various infectious diseases such 
        as the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), tuberculosis, and 
        malaria.
            (3) Taiwan's population of 23,500,000 people is greater than 
        that of three-fourths of the member states already in the World 
        Health Organization (WHO).
            (4) 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 to 
        eradicate polio and provide children with hepatitis B 
        vaccinations.
            (5) The United States Centers for Disease Control and 
        Prevention and its Taiwan counterpart agencies have enjoyed 
        close collaboration on a wide range of public health issues.
            (6) In recent years Taiwan has expressed a willingness to 
        assist financially and technically in international aid and 
        health activities supported by the WHO.
            (7) On January 14, 2001, an earthquake, registering between 
        7.6 and 7.9 on the Richter scale, struck El Salvador. In 
        response, the Taiwanese Government sent 2 rescue teams, 
        consisting of 90 individuals specializing in firefighting, 
        medicine, and civil engineering. The Taiwanese Ministry of 
        Foreign Affairs also donated $200,000 in relief aid to the 
        Salvadoran Government.

[[Page 117 STAT. 770]]

            (8) The World Health Assembly has allowed observers to 
        participate in the activities of the organization, including the 
        Palestine Liberation Organization in 1974, the Order of Malta, 
        and the Holy See in the early 1950s.
            (9) The United States, in the 1994 Taiwan Policy Review, 
        declared its intention to support Taiwan's participation in 
        appropriate international organizations.
            (10) Public Law 106-137 required the Secretary of State to 
        submit a report to the Congress on efforts by the executive 
        branch to support Taiwan's participation in international 
        organizations, in particular the WHO.
            (11) In light of all benefits that Taiwan's participation in 
        the WHO can bring to the state of health not only in Taiwan, but 
        also regionally and globally, Taiwan and its 23,500,000 people 
        should have appropriate and meaningful participation in the WHO.
            (12) On May 11, 2001, President Bush stated in his letter to 
        Senator Murkowski that the United States ``should find 
        opportunities for Taiwan's voice to be heard in international 
        organizations in order to make a contribution, even if 
        membership is not possible'', further stating that his 
        Administration ``has focused on finding concrete ways for Taiwan 
        to benefit and contribute to the WHO''.
            (13) In his speech made in the World Medical Association on 
        May 14, 2002, Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy 
        Thompson announced ``America's work for a healthy world cuts 
        across political lines. That is why my government supports 
        Taiwan's efforts to gain observership status at the World Health 
        Assembly. We know this is a controversial issue, but we do not 
        shrink from taking a public stance on it. The people of Taiwan 
        deserve the same level of public health as citizens of every 
        nation on earth, and we support them in their efforts to achieve 
        it''.
            (14) The Government of the Republic of China on Taiwan, in 
        response to an appeal from the United Nations and the United 
        States for resources to control the spread of HIV/AIDS, donated 
        $1,000,000 to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and 
        Malaria in December 2002.

    (b) Plan.--The Secretary of State is authorized--
            (1) to initiate a United States plan to endorse and obtain 
        observer status for Taiwan at the annual week-long summit of the 
        World Health Assembly in May 2003 in Geneva, Switzerland; and
            (2) to instruct the United States delegation to Geneva to 
        implement that plan.

[[Page 117 STAT. 771]]

    (c) Report.--Not <<NOTE: Deadline.>> later than 14 days after the 
date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of State shall submit a 
report to Congress in unclassified form describing the action taken 
under subsection (b).

    Approved May 29, 2003.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--S. 243 (H.R. 441):
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 149 (2003):
            May 1, considered and passed Senate.
            May 14, considered and passed House.
WEEKLY COMPILATION OF PRESIDENTIAL DOCUMENTS, Vol. 39 (2003):
            May 29, Presidential statement.

                                  <all>

Pages: 1

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