China tries to block ICT’s accreditation based on politics rather than merits.

The International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) has applied to participate in the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg, and in preparatory meetings leading up to the summit.

ICT works to promote sustainable development in Tibet. Our work over the last 13 years has focused on the interconnected principles of respect for human rights, environmental protection and stewardship, economic justice, social development and cultural integrity for the people of Tibet.

ICT fully supports the goals and objectives of Agenda 21 and looks forward to sharing its expertise and perspectives at the world summit. ICT notes with approval the inclusive and participatory character of the world summit and respectfully seeks to be accredited to the conference. ICT believes that it meets the stated criteria for accreditation, since it has “relevance and competence in the field of sustainable development.”

ICT has researched and published reports on sustainable development in Tibet, actively monitors development projects in Tibet in order to promote the principles of sustainable development, advocates for the rights of Tibetans to participate in decisions related to resource management, and publishes a newsletter devoted to Tibetan environment and development issues.

The Summit Secretariat has recommended our accreditation to the Prepcom II as evident from the document: E/CN.17/2002/PC.2/16.

However, China is trying to block our participation.

China’s objection to ICT’s accreditation is based on politics rather than the merits. At last year’s UN World Conference on Racism, China also sought to block ICT’s accreditation and participation. At that UN conference, government delegates rallied behind ICT’s right to participate, and China’s objection was overturned. Thereafter, ICT was able to make positive contributions in the debate at the racism conference in Durban, South Africa.

ICT’s area of expertise conforms closely to areas under the purview of WSSD. We have a long and substantial record of activities relating to issues of sustainable development and environment. Since our inception in 1988, ICT has been concerned with the issue of sustainable development in Tibet. ICT fully concurs with the objectives of WSSD that governments and NGOs “focus the world’s attention and direct action toward meeting difficult challenges, including improving people’s lives and conserving our natural resources in a world that is growing in population, with ever-increasing demands for food, water, shelter, sanitation, energy, health services and economic security.” ICT views the World Summit on Sustainable Development as an important international forum to discuss issues of worldwide concern. We have devoted substantial resources to monitoring the issues that the WSSD is taking up.

As with the preparatory stages of the World Conference Against Racism (WCAR), China is trying to block us from participating in an international UN conference, which has direct relevance to our sphere of activity.

We believe China is intentionally politicizing the issue by trying to prevent a legitimate organization from participation in the WSSD based on extraneous and unfounded reasons. We hope member states and the NGO community will support our accreditation to the WSSD.