More than 250 people showed up in an Ypao beach cleanup event organized by Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Guam and Guam Visitors Bureau last April 23, 2022 to celebrate Earth Day and support Taiwan’s voice and presence in the 75th World Health Assembly, the annual meeting of the World Health Organization, which will be held on May 22 to 28, 2022.
Taiwan has donated many personal protection equipment to Guam during the COVID-19 pandemic. Taiwan recently also donated a remote telecare platform to the Guam Memorial Hospital, which would help Guam residents receive healthcare at home in the near future.
These facts demonstrate that Taiwan could help more if Taiwan participated in the WHO’s network, said Paul Chen, the director general of TECO, in his welcome remarks last Saturday.
He expressed appreciation that so many people came to celebrate Earth Day together and support Taiwan’s inclusion in WHO.
Over the last two years of the pandemic, Taiwan has demonstrated that it is willing and able to participate in the global effort to solve many medical and public health issues. Unfortunately, Taiwan has never been included in the WHO’s mechanism since 2017. Even in November 2020, while national representatives from around the globe were gathering in Geneva, Switzerland for the WHA and COVID-19 issues dominated the meeting, Taiwan, a country well known for its best-in-class result of COVID response at that time, was not invited to join at all.
Continuing to exclude Taiwan from the WHO is hurting global health. To extend the efforts from last year’s #LetTaiwanHelp beach cleanup, TECO and GVB jointly hosted a beach cleanup again this year to raise awareness of the exclusion of Taiwan’s valuable input from the WHO. The event was also sponsored by Taiwanese companies in Guam, including First Commercial Bank and Chung Kuo Insurance Co., as one of Chung Kuo Insurance’s 50th anniversary celebrations.
Sen. Tina Muña Barnes, who is the vice speaker of the 36th Guam Legislature, and her team joined the cleanup. She recognized that the Taiwanese community has been helping the island of Guam. All the medical support and educational support that Taiwan has provided to Guam have made Taiwan a special place to Guam. The Legislature is therefore processing a resolution relative to supporting Taiwan’s participation in the WHO’s 75th WHA this year.
Sen. Amanda Shelton was there as well. She thanked Taiwan for being a great community partner to coordinate the event. She also emphasized that, in addition to celebrating Earth Day, it’s also the National Volunteer Week. So, she thanked all participants for taking their time out of Saturday morning to help the cleanup.
People from different parts of the island participated in the cleanup at Ypao Beach. “Our Chamorro brothers and sisters, Filipinos, Koreans, Japanese, Taiwanese, Palauans, Thai, and Vietnamese worked together to maintain Guam’s beautification. While Guam is striving to reopen and recover after the pandemic, TECO is glad that the cleanup event brought our local residents and foreign visitors a clean and beautiful beach to enjoy,” said a TECO news release. (PR)