RSF calls on WHO to open its events to Taiwanese journalists

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) urges the United Nations to stop its discriminatory practices against Taiwanese journalists, notably at the World Health Assembly.

Taiwan’s media outlets, including the press agency Central News Agency (CNA), were again barred from the events of the 75th World Health Assembly held in Geneva between 22nd and 28th May 2022. On several occasions, the United Nations (UN) and its offshoot World Health Organisation (WHO), bowing to Chinese pressure, turned down requests for press accreditation from Taiwanese nationals and media on the pretext that Taiwan and its passport are not officially recognised.

Denying Taiwanese journalists access to WHO activities is a flagrant violation of the right to seek and receive information that is enshrined in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights", says the head of RSF’s East Asia Bureau, Cédric Alviani. "RSF urges the United Nations to put an immediate stop to this discriminatory practice, which deprives Taiwan’s representatives, medical community and its public of vital updates about the world’s health issues.”

From 2009 to 2016, when Beijing was seeking a rapprochement with Taiwan, the UN and WHO readily issued accreditation to Taiwanese media outlets and journalists who requested it.

Taiwan, contentiously claimed by the People's Republic of China (PRC), is the only democracy of the Chinese-speaking world, and ranks 38th out of 180 in the 2022 RSF World Press Freedom Index.

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