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April 16, 2020

IPI urges WHO to grant Accreditation to Taiwan Journalists.

IPI

IPI, UN, WHO

Photo: UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, attends a briefing on the COVID-19 outbreak. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), and Sylvie Briand, Director of the Global Infectious Hazard Management of WHO, also attended the briefing. February 24, 2020. Geneva, Switzerland. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré.

Vienna, Austria, April 16, 2020 —The International Press Institute (IPI), a global network of editors, media executives and leading journalists, today called on the World Health Organization (WHO) to grant Accreditation to Taiwanese journalists.

WHO has, for the past six years, denied Accreditation to journalists from Taiwan. As a result, Taiwanese media outlets have no access to the World Health Assembly and briefings by the WHO.

In a letter to WHO Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, IPI Executive Director Barbara Trionfi said the accreditation block hindered the flow of information on the coronavirus pandemic.

Trionfi noted that from day one of the COVID-19 pandemic, journalists in Taiwan have been able to draw on their experience during the SARS epidemic to implement protocols and editorial policies that ensure the dissemination of valuable news. Their expertise is immensely helpful to the global community represented by the WHO.

“Health and the right to information transcend political and geographical boundaries,” Trionfi said. “We believe that by refusing Accreditation to Taiwanese journalists and denying access to report to the people of Taiwan, the WHO is not just violating its founding principles, it is also undermining UN Sustainable Development Goal 3 on ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all.”

Following is the full text of the letter:

April 9, 2020

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
Director-General
World Health Organization.

Honorable Dr. Ghebreyesus,

Accreditation for Taiwan Journalists

On behalf of the members of the International Press Institute (IPI), a global network of editors, media executives and leading journalists, I would like to express our gratitude to you and the staff of the World Health Organization for your efforts in dealing with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

In these times of crisis, the public needs news that it can trust. It is critical at this stage that the administrations provide more support to independent media, which are crucial allies in the fight against COVID-19.

The World Health Organization has been conveying its key messages and concerns relating to COVID-19 to governments and the people through frequent media briefings. We appreciate that the WHO understands and values the importance of the media’s role not only in crises like the current pandemic, but also in promoting good health practices, and has a communications team to interact with journalists.

However, we are incredibly concerned that journalists from Taiwan, where the government has done a commendable job in containing COVID-19 infections, have been shut out of the WHO. The WHO has, for the past six years, denied Accreditation to journalists working for Taiwanese media outlets to cover the World Health Assembly.

It is even more disturbing today, as journalists in Taiwan have been able to draw on their experience during the SARS epidemic to implement, from day one of the COVID-19 epidemic, protocols and editorial policies that ensure the dissemination of valuable news. Their expertise is immensely helpful to the global community represented by the WHO.

We welcome your statement that no one should politicize COVID-19, and we expect that the WHO will implement this in both letter and spirit by granting Accreditation to journalists from Taiwan and allowing them to participate in WHO activities fully, thereby delivering valuable lessons learned from Taiwan.

Health and the right to information transcend political and geographical boundaries. The Constitution of the World Health Organization states: “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.” It also states that “the extension to all peoples of the benefits of medical, psychological, and related knowledge is essential to the fullest attainment of health.”

We believe that by refusing Accreditation to Taiwanese journalists and denying access to information to the people of Taiwan, the WHO is not just violating its founding principles, it is also undermining UN Sustainable Development Goal 3 on ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all.

We, therefore, urge the WHO to grant Accreditation to journalists from Taiwan and those working for Taiwanese media outlets and uphold the rights of the people of Taiwan and the rest of the world to access information of public interest.

Yours sincerely,

Barbara Trionfi
Executive Director
International Press Institute

…………………………………….

|GlobalGiants.Com|

— The editor is a member of the International Press Institute.


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Edited & Posted by the Editor | 8:24 AM | Link to this Post






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