The 58th UN Commission on Human Rights, which began in Geneva on March 18, 2002, saw several countries urging China to grant self-determination and satisfactory autonomy to the Tibetan people and to find a solution through dialogue.

Although the United States is not a member of the Commission this year, the State Department spokesman said on March 18, 2002, “We have a strong interest in human rights in China. We’ll watch that carefully, that situation.”

Among the countries that raised Tibet at the Commission were Germany, Guatemala, The Netherlands and Switzerland.

Several non-governmental organizations came out with written statements on the human rights situation in Tibet.

As the 58th session of the Commission opened on March 18, 2002, Tibetans and their supporters held a Vigil outside the United Nations appealing to the human rights body with a message: “UNCHR act now to defend human rights in Tibet – Silence will encourage China to commit more human rights violations.”