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China's Relationship with the World Health Organization (WHO)
2004/04/19
China is one of the two initiating states of the World Health Organization (WHO). At the 25th Assembly of WHO in 1972, China was restored its legitimate seat in WHO. Since then, China has sent delegations to all World Health assemblies and sessions of the Regional Committee for the Western Pacific, has been elected as member of the Executive Board for many times. Up till now, WHO has provided China with various technical assistance valuing over US$100,000,000.

January 24-29, the 105th session of the Executive Board of WHO was held in Geneva. Mr. Liu Peilong, Director-General of the Department of International Cooperation of the Ministry of Health and also the member of the Executive Board attended the session. The session held discussion on food safety, Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis control.

May 15-20, the 53rd World Health Assembly was held in Geneva. The Assembly reviewed the WHO Report in the year 2000, stop tuberculosis initiative, HIV/AIDs, food safety, infant and young child nutrition, eradication of poliomyelitis, WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and global strategy for the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases, etc. 17 resolutions and 12 decisions were adopted at the Assembly. The Chinese delegation, headed by Mr. Zhang Wenkang, Minister of Health, attended the Assembly. Mr. Zhang made a speech at the Plenary Session introducing the healthcare system reform in China. He stressed that scientific and comprehensive methods shall be adopted to evaluate the effectiveness of the healthcare system. At the Ministerial round table meeting, Mr. Zhang pointed out that the ongoing process of establishing fundamental healthcare system in China is conducive to increasing healthcare financing and improving the equality in health care service. The Assembly adopted unanimously, without voting, the decision made by the General Committee of not including the proposal of "inviting the Republic of China (Taiwan) to attend the WHO Assembly as observer "as supplementary agenda item. Taiwan, as a province of China, is not entitled to the membership of WHO which is an inter-governmental organization. This is the fourth time that China defeated the attempt of Taiwan authority to join in WHO.

September 18-22, the 51st session of the Regional Committee for the Western Pacific of WHO was held in Manila. Mr. Wang Longde, Vice-Minister of Health of China headed the Chinese delegation to the Session and the Ministerial Round Table on Health and Poverty.

October 16-21, the first session of Inter-governmental negotiating body on the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control was held in Geneva. The meeting made decision on procedure of conducting further negotiation and the date and venue of the second round of negotiation, namely, April 30-May 5, 2001 in Geneva.

Year 2001 witnessed continued cooperation between China and WHO.

15-23 January   The 107th WHO Executive Board met in Geneva. Liu Peilong, director general of international cooperation of the Ministry of Health attended the meeting. Global strategy on infant and young child nutrition and health promotion, other technical and health issues as well as budget proposal 2002-2003 and financial issues were dealt with.

30 April 5 May   The second session of intergovernmental negotiations on tobacco control framework convention was convened in Geneva under the auspice of WHO. 158 countries sent delegations and 12 intergovernmental organization and 25 of NGOs had their observers present at the session. Eight Chinese government departments and agencies including planning, health, trade, foreign affairs, fiscal affairs, taxation, industry & commerce, tobacco attended the negotiation as well. The session covered, in the main, tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsoring, pricing and taxation, government support to the tobacco industry and plantation, crackdown on illicit trading of tobacco, license administration, tobacco control and international trade, financial mechanism, compensation and liability as well as the relationship between the convention and WHO.

14-22 May   The 54th WHO Assembly was held in Geneva. The 20 plus agenda items included such technical and financial issues as a minister-level roundtable with mental health as theme topic, budget proposal, and global strategy on infant and young child nutrition, health promotion, and tobacco control. HIV/AIDS, health hazard of depleted uranium as well as Arabs' health state in occupied Arab territories (including Palestine), assistance to those people and administration and political issues. Peng Yu, vice health minister of China headed the delegation. He briefed the participants on the work done in the field of mental health and the experience gained therefrom, and expressed his readiness to contribute to the realization of mental health for all, together with the international community. A membership due assessment proposal was presented by WHO secretariat for the fiscal year 2002-2003. This issue became the most debated one during the meeting and a compromise version was adopted finally by the assembly. In addition, this assembly also adopted unanimously without voting a decision made by the General Committee of not including the proposal of "inviting the ROC (Taiwan) to attend the WHO Assembly as an observer" as supplementary agenda item. That was China's fifth consecutive victory over Taiwan's attempt to squeeze itself into WHO.

10-14 September   The 52nd Session of the WHO Regional Committee of the Western Pacific took place in Brunei. Zhang Wenkang, China's health minister attended the session.

22-28 November   The 3rd intergovernmental negotiating body on the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control met in Geneva. Present at the meeting were representatives of 168 countries. The Chinese delegation consisted of representatives from planning commission, health ministry, MOFTEC, foreign ministry and tobacco exclusive sales bureau. The meeting focused on monitoring and reporting mechanism, subsidy and crop substitute, convention structure, candidate for convention negotiating body chairmanship and protocol on fight against tobacco smuggling and other issues in addition to those addressed at the previous meeting.
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