23 million people stand isolated


TO: PCT Partner Churches and Related Organizations

Friends Around the World

SUBJECT: An Appeal and Statement of Purpose by the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan delegation to the World Health Assembly, Geneva 2004

Geneva, May 2004

 Based on our Christian faith and belief, our Biblical understanding of love, ethics, and basic human rights of all peoples, the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan (PCT) humbly appeals to citizens around the world to support Taiwan’s application for membership and full participation in the World Health Organization (WHO) and related World Health Assembly (WHA). We seek your support and assistance in bringing this request to the attention of WHO, the UN, your local MPs/Senators and respective Governments. 

As a faith community we especially appeal to all PCT partner churches and related ecumenical organizations to make this an issue of prayer and action. We further ask our Christian sisters and brothers to bring this request to the attention of your relevant church committees and church courts.

PCT sincerely and firmly believes the question of WHO membership transcends politics - it is a matter of basic human rights. The 23 million citizens of Taiwan, and the thousands of foreign nationals residing in our country, should not be deprived of their right to the services WHO provides. On the other hand neither should we be denied the right to make our contribution to the world community.

A highly developed, educated, affluent and democratic nation, the people of Taiwan are eager and willing to give of their knowledge, expertise and resources to others. This is clearly demonstrated by the commendable record of both our Government and various NGOs who have provided international medical assistance and contributed substantially to humanitarian aid and disaster relief in other countries on numerous occasions.

The fact that Taiwan is denied the right to participate fully in WHO leaves a major gap in the global battle against epidemics and the general public health and well being of all God’s people. A fact painfully highlighted in 1998 when the “entero virus” 

infection claimed the lives of nearly 80 Taiwanese children and yet again during the 2003 SARS epidemic. This is incomprehensible and an immoral state of affairs living as we do in such a highly developed, technological age and in an era, more than any other in human history, where the number of cross-cultural marriages are increasing and international travel is widely accessible, culminating in the world becoming a global village community.

It is not too much to ask that Taiwan’s people be granted the dignity and the right to act as responsible world citizens along side other nations in an organization which clearly states in the principles of its constitution:

The enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being without distinction of race, religion, political belief, economic or social condition.

The health of all peoples is fundamental to the attainment of peace and security and is dependent upon the fullest co-operation of individuals and States.*

Fundamental to our faith as members of the universal Christian church is the greatest commandment to love God and likewise to “Love your neighbour as you love yourself (Mark 10:27b). PCT members have both a spiritual and moral obligation to love our neighbours in our own land and globally.

Undoubtedly, the people of Taiwan care deeply for WHO and all it stands for but the question remains - who cares for Taiwan?

We thank you for your solidarity and action.


Sincerely yours,

Rev. Chen Dao-Shiung, Moderator 49th General Assembly

Rev. Chen Hsin-Liang ,Vice Moderator 49th General Assembly

Rev. William J. K. Lo, General Secretary


E-mail: PCT General Secretary < gs@mail.pct.org.tw >

*Constitution of WHO; Source - http://www.who.int/en/