The International Campaign for Tibet’s staff leadership is having a retreat from August 28 to 30 in Italy to discuss the organization’s strategy for the coming months and for 2020.

The agenda includes discussion of international advocacy, including in the United Nations, and review of work on access to Tibet, religious freedom and sustainable development.

Discussions will also include priority setting and planning for 2020, taking into account China’s current policies in Tibet as well as political positions of governments in Europe and the United States.

The meeting will review ICT activities during the implementation phase of the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act (RATA) in the United States and see how this can be expanded with a strategy and action plan on promotion of the concept of reciprocal access to Tibet in Europe and other countries, including through the United Nations system. The issue of working with our partner organizations in UK and Australia on the concept of reciprocity will also be taken up.

The meeting will also discuss an action plan on the soon to be announced new bipartisan legislation in the United States Congress aimed at strengthening the Tibetan Policy Act and other relevant legislation on Tibet. Congressman Jim McGovern had announced his plan for such a legislation at a town hall meeting with the Tibetan community in New York earlier this year.

Building on the successful passage of RATA at the end of 2018, a bill championed by Congressman McGovern (D) and Senator Rubio (R) for which ICT campaigned since 2014, discussions began on a previous idea to further strengthen the key legislation on Tibet in the light of new developments. Subsequently, it was discussed at a Strategy Session on Tibet hosted by Speaker Nancy Pelosi in March 2019 and ICT Chairman Richard Gere and staff had worked closely with Congressional offices, in particular with the Congressional Executive Commission on China, on concrete steps forward.

In preparation for advocacy around the new legislation, ICT organized a conference call with Tibetan Associations in the United States in the middle of August. The Tibetan Associations, representing the Tibetan American community, were instrumental in the advocacy on the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act in 2018.

The ICT staff leadership is led by President Matteo Mecacci and includes Vice President Bhuchung Tsering, Executive Director Tsering Jampa of ICT Europe and Executive Director Kai Mueller of ICT Germany. ICT Board Member Tempa Tsering is joining the deliberations. The session on advocacy in Europe will also be participated by senior advocacy staff from Amsterdam, Berlin and Brussels.