The Dalai Lama arrives in Rome today to address the 5th World Parliamentarians Convention on Tibet at the Chamber of Deputies, the Italian Parliament.

Matteo Mecacci (PD), President of the Parliamentary Inter-group for Tibet, said: “We are delighted that the President of the Chamber of Deputies Gianfranco Fini will meet formally with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and host the first international conference of Parliamentarians on Tibet since the 2008 crackdown in Tibet. This official welcome reflects the deep affection and support of the Italian people for the Dalai Lama. All Italian institutions should take this as an example and give formal political support for the initiatives of His Holiness.”

Penpa Tsering, Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament in Exile based in Dharamsala, India, said today: “His Holiness always emphasises that supporters of Tibet worldwide are not against China, but for peace and justice. We look forward to welcoming more than 200 Parliamentarians from 28 different countries to develop strategies for supporting Tibet at a time of political crisis.”

The 5th World Parliamentarians’ Convention on Tibet will take place four years after the last convention was held in Edinburgh and attended by 133 Parliamentarians and associates from 30 Parliaments around the world. The objective of the conference is to develop a plan of governmental action to advance Tibetan issues and secure effective governmental support for the process of dialogue between the Chinese leadership and His Holiness the Dalai Lama or his representatives leading to a negotiated solution for Tibet.

The Dalai Lama was in Rome in February, when he was made a honorary citizen of the city. During the citizenship ceremony, Rome Mayor Gianni Alemanno – who will speak at the Parliamentarians’ conference this week – gave the Dalai Lama a statuette of the Roman shewolf feeding the infants Romulus and Remus, while the Dalai Lama gave him a traditional Tibetan white scarf.

Press contacts and details

Desirèe Nardone, Press Office, desireenardone@yahoo.it +39.347.2598478

The 5th World Parliamentarians’ Convention on Tibet opening and closing ceremonies are open to press.

Conference Venue:Italian Chamber of Deputies (Camera dei Deputati)

Details of itinerary are below.

Wednesday, 18 November Opening Ceremony
Venue: Sala della Regina

1000 – 1200. Programme includes video screening of Tibetan Democracy in Exile, Welcome and Introductory Speech by Matteo Mecacci, Master of Ceremonies Gianni Vernitti, Vice President, Italian Parliamentary Group for Tibet and former Under Secretary of State, Italy.
1045: Welcome speech by Gianni Alemanno, Mayor of Rome
1055: Speech by Penpa Tsering, Speaker, Tibetan Parliament in Exile
11.05 Speech by His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Thursday, 19 November Closing Ceremony
15.30 – 18.00 Presentation and Adoption of the Rome Declaration and Action Plan
1630: Remarks by various speakers including Brij Bhushan Tiwari (MP India), Marco Pannella, Founder President of the Nonviolent Radical Party.
1750 Vote of thanks by Matteo Mecacci and Dolma Gyari, Deputy Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament in exile