Text: H.R.4019 — 108th Congress (2003-2004)All Information (Except Text)

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Referred in Senate (04/22/2004)

[Congressional Bills 108th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H.R. 4019 Referred in Senate (RFS)]

  2d Session
                                H. R. 4019



                             April 22, 2004

Received; read twice and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations


                                 AN ACT

      To address the participation of Taiwan in the World Health 

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,


    (a) Findings.--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 today with the great potential 
        for the cross-border spread of various infectious diseases such 
        as the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), tuberculosis, and 
            (3) Taiwan's population of 23,500,000 people is greater 
        than that of \3/4\ of the member states already in the World 
        Health Organization (WHO).
            (4) Taiwan's achievements in the field of health are 
        substantial, including--
                    (A) attaining--
                            (i) 1 of the highest life expectancy levels 
                        in Asia; and
                            (ii) maternal and infant mortality rates 
                        comparable to those of western countries;
                    (B) eradicating such infectious diseases as 
                cholera, smallpox, the plague, and polio; and
                    (C) providing children with hepatitis B 
            (5) The United States Centers for Disease Control and 
        Prevention and its counterpart agencies in Taiwan 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.
            (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 1950's.
            (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 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 a 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 the 
        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.
            (15) In 2003, the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory 
        Syndrome (SARS) caused 84 deaths in Taiwan.
            (16) Avian influenza, commonly known as bird flu, has 
        reemerged in Asia, with strains of the influenza reported by 
        the People's Republic of China, Cambodia, Indonesia, Japan, 
        Pakistan, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, and Laos.
            (17) The SARS and avian influenza outbreaks illustrate that 
        disease knows no boundaries and emphasize the importance of 
        allowing all people access to the WHO.
            (18) As the pace of globalization quickens and the spread 
        of infectious disease accelerates, it is crucial that all 
        people, including the people of Taiwan, be given the 
        opportunity to participate in international health 
        organizations such as the WHO.
            (19) The Secretary of Health and Human Services 
        acknowledged during the 2003 World Health Assembly meeting that 
        ``[t]he need for effective public health exists among all 
    (b) Plan.--The Secretary of State is authorized to--
            (1) initiate a United States plan to endorse and obtain 
        observer status for Taiwan at the annual week-long summit of 
        the World Health Assembly each year in Geneva, Switzerland;
            (2) instruct the United States delegation to the World 
        Health Assembly in Geneva to implement that plan; and
            (3) introduce a resolution in support of observer status 
        for Taiwan at the summit of the World Health Assembly.
    (c) Report Concerning Observer Status for Taiwan at the Summit of 
the World Health Assembly.--Not later than 30 days after the date of 
the enactment of this Act, and not later than April 1 of each year 
thereafter, the Secretary of State shall submit a report to the 
Congress, in unclassified form, describing the United States plan to 
endorse and obtain observer status for Taiwan at the annual week-long 
summit of the World Health Assembly (WHA) held by the World Health 
Organization (WHO) in May of each year in Geneva, Switzerland. Each 
report shall include the following:
            (1) An account of the efforts the Secretary of State has 
        made, following the last meeting of the World Health Assembly, 
        to encourage WHO member states to promote Taiwan's bid to 
        obtain observer status.
            (2) The steps the Secretary of State will take to endorse 
        and obtain observer status at the next annual meeting of the 
        World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland.

            Passed the House of Representatives April 21, 2004.


                                                 JEFF TRANDAHL,


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