The Atlanta-based Taipei Economic and Cultural Office boosted is efforts to help Taiwan gain World Health Organization admission by supporting the Big Peach Running Co.’s five-kilometer race through Buckhead on May 5.

The World Health Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations that acts as a coordinating authority on international public health, and is headquartered, in Geneva, Switzerland.

Taiwan has appealed to the health organization to regain its membership, and the organization is expected to decide on Monday, May 14, whether it should be admitted.

Last week, President Chen Shui-bian made a final plea, specifically citing Taiwan’s desire to become members of the organization’s Global Outbreak and Alert Response Network, a body of experts set up to deal with epidemics and other health emergencies.

Mr. Chen said Taiwan needed to belong to the network to be able to better cope with major medical emergencies like the SARS epidemic of two years ago, or a possible human influenza pandemic spawned by a potential mutation of the bird flue virus.

The Buckhead race included more than 1,100 runners ranging in age from 12 to 72 and raised $8,450 for an endurance training program of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

The society is a voluntary health organization based in White Plains, N.Y., dedicated to funding blood cancer research, education and patient services. Its mission is to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families.

Big Peach Running Co. is a retailer of footwear, apparel and accessories for runners and walkers in metro Atlanta with stores in Buckhead and Marietta. The company started the race last year to raise funds for local health-related non-profit organizations.

Before the race began, R. C. Wu, director general of the economic and cultural office, announced that Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs designated May 5th as a day for supporters of Taiwan’s admission to the World Health Organization to participate in walking and running activities.

The Republic of China was one of the founding members of the United Nations and a permanent member of the Security Council from its creation in 1945. In 1949, the Communist Party of China seized power on the mainland and declared the People’s Republic of China, claiming to have replaced the ROC as the sole legitimate government and China and the ROC government withdrew to Taiwan.

The United Nation’s General Assembly passed a resolution on Oct. 25, 1971, withdrawing recognition of the ROC as the legitimate government of China, and recognizing the PRC as the sole legitimate government of China. China received support from two-thirds of all United Nations’s members and the complete unanimous approval by the Security Council excluding the ROC.

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