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Foreign Spokesperson Kong Quan's Comment on the Principle of "Universal Application" of the International Health Regulations

Q: On May 23rd, the 58th Session of the World Health Assembly passed the revised International Health Regulations (IHR), in which the principle of "universal application" was adopted. Would that mean that the IHR will apply to Taiwan? Would that establish the legal basis for Taiwan's future participation in the World Health Organization activities?

A: The Chinese side is pleased with the final passing of the revised International Health Regulations. We believe that the IHR would play an important role in further promoting the establishment of a Global Health System, protecting the health and life of people of all over the world, and other aspects.

During the negotiation of the IHR, all parties concerned agreed to incorporate the four principles that should be observed in the IHR implementation, including respecting human rights, respecting sovereignty of all countries, abiding by the United Nations Charter and the World Health Organization (WHO) Constitution and universal application. All these four principles are interconnected and equally important. The IHR points out that the subjects of the IHR implementation are sovereign countries in the WHO. It also explicitly stipulates the duties of the WHO Member States and Secretary-General. We hope that all parties will strengthen cooperation in the future, and work together to promote the comprehensive and effective implementation of the IHR.

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