Exclusive: St. Lucia’s Ambassador to Taiwan said, we will support Taiwan to join if U.S. establishes new health organization

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The U.S. Department of State formally informed U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres in July that the United States will withdraw from the World Health Organization, effective July 6 next year. A source from Washington D.C. told Eat News the U.S. will form a new world health organization, which is rumored to be called the Global Health Organization. In an Eat News exclusive interview with Ambassador Edwin Laurent of St. Lucia, one of the Republic of China on Taiwan’s diplomatic partners said, “If in the future there would be is to be a change in that structure. Yes, we certainly would.”

As a result of the COVID-19 epidemic, St. Lucia, one of the Caribbean diplomatic relations to the Republic of China on Taiwan, faced an unprecedented economic catastrophe in it’s history. Although the government of St. Lucia took a series of stringent measures to prevent and contain the epidemic fairly quickly, including closing the border in the first place, and the country’s public health management, St. Lucia was able to avert a health crisis. However, as the tourism was the country’s main source of income, the COVID-19 has hit the economy significantly, reducing employment opportunities and income sources. On the morning of the September 16th, Taiwanese companies presented $2.2 million donations and protective clothing to help St. Lucia cope with the crisis.

The U.S. blamed Communist China for the COVID-19 outbreak, and Washington imposed a series of sanctions, including withdrawing from the World Health Organization, which is suspected of assisted concealing the outbreak in China. According to the Central News Agency, U.N. spokesman Stéphane Dujarric confirmed on July 6 that the United States has notified the United Nations that it will withdraw from the WHO. Dujarric said the U.S. will have to give a year’s notice to withdraw from the WHO and fulfill its remaining financial obligations in accordance to the conditions set by the U.S. in 1948.

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Photo: Fausto Chou/Eat News

The U.S. is expected to establish a new global health agency when it withdraws from the WHO, and it is expected to be named the Global Health Organization(GHO). In an interview with Eat News, St. Lucia’s ambassador to Taiwan, Mr. Laurent, was asked if St. Lucia would support Taiwan joining the GHO if the U.S. were to establish it. He told Eat News, “Yes, we certainly would. Because we are friends with Taiwan we will continue to support Taiwan. But at the moment the only organization is the WHO.”

The Eat News journalist asked Ambassador Laurent if St. Lucia wanted Taiwan to join the WHO or the GHO, in the name of Taiwan or the Republic of China? Ambassador Laurent replied very clearly, “It is for Taiwan to decide on its name.”

St. Lucia, a former British colony in the Caribbean, was declared an independent nation on February 22, 1979, but its head of state is still the King or Queen of England. The country is predominantly black and has a population of about 180,000. St. Lucia’s largest export partner is the United States, which accounts for 67.6% of its exports, and its main import partner is the United States, which accounts for 53.3% of its imports.

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Fausto Chou is a Taiwanese journalist. He has been the executive editor of the Eat News since June, 2020. He previously worked for the Eastern Television (ETTV) and Formosa Television (FTV) as a journalist.

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Eat News is a Taiwanese digital media, analyzes current events and issues through column articles, videos, visual aid, and exclusive interviews.

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