In a report on the conference, the Bureau du Tibet in Brussels said the conference felt such an office would assist EU members to develop and implement an effective European policy on Tibet.
Following is the text of the report and the resolution of the conference held in Brussels from November 14 to 15, 2002.
Brussels, November 15, 2002 – As the Chinese Communist Party confirmed its new leader in Beijing, a European Parliamentarian Conference on Tibet in Brussels today expressed deep concern about the continuing violation of the rights of Tibetan people by the Peoples Republic of China, and unanimously called upon the European Union (EU) and national governments of European countries to push for a political settlement of the long standing Sino-Tibetan issue. A resolution (text of the resolution attached) adopted at this conference emphasised the above concerns by once again calling for the appointment of an EU Special Representative for Tibetan Issues.
The legislators who attended the conference at the European Parliament invited by the European Parliament’s Tibet Intergroup President Mr. Thomas Mann (MEP)came from various countries across Europe.
“The EU must appoint a Special Representative for Tibetan Issues to ensure that the EU and its member States implement effective policies to promote an end to the tragic oppression of the Tibetan people,” said Mr. Mann. “The creation of such a position within the U.S. Administration has visible impact on the effectiveness of U.S. policy on Tibet in its relation with China,” he added.
The European Parliamentarian Conference on Tibet welcomed the renewed contact between the government of the People’s Republic of China and the envoys of H.H. the Dalai Lama and called upon the new leadership in China “to immediately embark upon earnest and sincere negotiations with the object of finding a just and lasting political solution.”
Delivering the keynote statement to the conference, Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche, the first democratically elected chairman of the Cabinet of the Tibetan Government in Exile said, “Europe and European Union have a crucial role to play in resolving the Tibet Issue. I believe that the appointment of an EU Special Representative for Tibetan Issues is a crucial step for a sustained and effective role for the European Union to help Tibet and China to resolve the Tibetan problem peacefully.”
The resolution also highlighted existing mechanisms by calling on the EU to keep the performance of its human rights dialogue with the PRC under regular review in accordance with agreed benchmarks. Additional initiatives included urging all European governments and the EU to actively pursue and sponsor a resolution on the human rights situation in China and Tibet at the sessions of the UN Commission on Human Rights.
“This conference has provided a good platform for supporters of Tibet to meet and discuss the challenges facing the Tibetan Issue,” said Mr. Migyur Dorjee Secretary of the Office of Tibet in Brussels. “We thank the parliamentarians for adopting a strong resolution on Tibet which will encourage the Tibetan people to continue their non-violent freedom, struggle,” he added.
Resolution adopted by the European Parliamentarian Conference on Tibet European Parliament, Brussels, Belgium
14-15 November 2002
The participants of the European Parliamentarian Conference on Tibet, which included members of the European Parliament and of national parliaments of the Member States of European Union and of candidate states and Switzerland, representatives of Tibet support groups and NGOs, gathered in Brussels on 14 and 15 November to consider the situation in Tibet*, unanimously:
- Deplore the continuing violation of the rights of the Tibetan people by the government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC);
- Welcome His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Government of Tibet in Exile’s consistent efforts to prevent violence and to bring about a peaceful political solution to the tragic situation in Tibet;
- Welcome wholeheartedly the renewed contact between the government of People’s Republic of China and the envoys of H. H. the Dalai Lama in September 2002 in China and Tibet;
- Welcome the release of some Tibetan political prisoners, including Takna Jigme Sangpo and Ngawang Sangdrol this year,
- Congratulate Mr. Hu Jintao on his appointment as General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party and urge him to take bold steps, without further delay, to resolve the Sino-Tibetan issue through negotiations;
- Reaffirm the importance of full respect for the human rights of the Tibetan people, and in particular of ensuring the implementation of the Tibetan people’s right to self-determination;
- Commend the invitation extended to H. H. the Dalai Lama to address the European Parliament on 24 October 2001, and welcome the statement and propositions made by him on that occasion;
- Express concern at the lack of coherent and effective European policy on Tibet to ensure respect of the rights of the Tibetan people and to promote a political resolution of Sino-Tibetan issue;
- Regret that the European Union (EU) dialogue with the PRC on human rights has not yet had significant positive effect on the situation in Tibet; 10. Convinced of the importance of securing peace and stability in Tibet and adjoining regions, and of the dangers of failure in this regard for the entire region and beyond;
- Convinced furthermore that the EU and national governments and parliaments can and must develop an effective policy aimed at bringing about a speedy and sustainable political solution to the Sino-Tibetan issue;
- Recall the European Parliament resolutions of 15 January 1998 and 11 April 2002 calling on the Council and Commission to appoint a European Union Special Representative for Tibetan Issues;
- Note with great satisfaction that the holder of the similar position in the United States Government — the U.S. Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues — has been instrumental in spearheading a proactive and coherent policy of the U.S. government towards the PRC and the Government of Tibet in Exile with regard to Tibet;
- Keenly aware of the positive impact of the work of the U.S. Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues;
- Recalling the European Union Parliament resolution of 6 July 2000, considering to formally recognize the Government of Tibet in exile as the legitimate representative of Tibet and the Tibetan people if no agreement has been reached by 6 July 2003, between the government of the PRC and the Government of Tibet in exile on a new status for Tibet acceptable to the Tibetan people;
- Recalling recent resolutions on Tibet passed by national parliaments, including the resolution on Tibet adopted by the Chamber of Deputies of the Italian Parliament on 9 October 2002;
- Convinced of the importance of taking a principled stand in multilateral fora, including in particular at the United Nations, with respect to the situation in Tibet, including the human rights situation there;
- Equally convinced that the active pursuit, including sponsorship of resolutions on the situation in Tibet at the United Nations Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR) is in no way inconsistent or incompatible with the conduct of a dialogue with the PRC on human rights and could indeed contribute to making the dialogue effective;
- Urge the Council and Commission of the European Union to implement the resolutions of the European Parliament on Tibet referred to above, and to appoint without further delay, a Special Representative for Tibetan Issues, modeled, to the extent appropriate, on the similar office of the U.S. Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues, with the mandate to assist the member states of the European Union as well as its aspiring member states to develop and implement an effective European policy on Tibet with a view to promoting early and earnest negotiations towards a just and lasting solution to the grave situation in Tibet.
- Call on the EU and all European governments to use every opportunity to strongly impress upon the government of the PRC to build on the re-establishment of contact with the representatives of H. H. the Dalai Lama and to immediately embark upon earnest and sincere negotiations with the object of finding a just and lasting political solution;
- Call on the European Parliament and on national parliaments of European countries to initiate appropriate procedures for the recognition of the Government of Tibet in exile as the legitimaterepresentative of Tibet and the Tibetan people if, by the 6 July 2003, no satisfactory political agreement has been reached between the government of the PRC and the Government of Tibet in exile establishing a new status for Tibet;
- Call on the EU to keep the performance of its human rights dialogue with the PRC under regular review in accordance with the agreed benchmarks and to establish a permanent secretariat to be responsible for the effective conduct of this dialogue in the future;
- Urge all European governments and the Council and the Commission of the EU to reevaluate their recent lack of initiative with respect to efforts to pass resolutions at the United Nations Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR) on the situation in China and Tibet, and to actively pursue and sponsor such resolutions at the upcoming and subsequent sessions of the UNCHR, and to specifically urge the EU TROIKA to take a leadership role in this respect in 2003, 2004 and 2005;
- Call on the EU and the national governments of European states to raise the issue of the Tibetan people’s right to self determination in the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly at its next and subsequent sessions;
- Demand the release by the People’s Republic of China of all Tibetan political prisoners, including the 13-year-old Panchen Lama, Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, who has been in captivity since May 1995;
- Call on the European Parliament, national parliaments, and the EU Commission and Council to actively monitor whether the treatment of Tibetans by the PRC authorities is affected by the privilege granted to China to host the 2008 Olympic Games; and if there is no significant improvement, to call upon the global Olympic Family and its representatives, including the International Olympic Committee to take appropriate actions;
- Commit ourselves to vigorously pursue within our legislative bodies, European Parliament and national parliaments, as well as in our dealings with relevant state governments and regional and international organizations, all points contained in this declaration, and to keep one another informed of all progress and reactions in this regard until the next European Parliamentarian Conference on Tibet in a year from now.
* Reference to Tibet in this document means the three provinces of U-Tsang, Kham and Amdo.