The United Nations Preparatory Committee (Prepcom) for the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) will decide on May 31, 2002, whether to accredit the Dharamsala-based Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD). The Chinese Government has formally asked the United Nations Secretary General not to allow TCHRD’s accreditation.

The decision on whether to let TCHRD attend the Johannesburg summit would be made in a plenary session, UN spokeswoman Pragati Pascale said from Bali on May 30, 2002.

Norzin Dolma (shown in photo taken in Bali) of TCHRD and Tsering Yangkey of the Tibetan Department of Information & International Relations, who are attending the last WSSD Prepcom in Bali, Indonesia, report that TCHRD presented a letter to the UN Secretary General explaining why TCHRD deserves accreditation.

On May 14, Wang Yingfan, the Chinese Ambassador to the UN, wrote to Secretary-General Annan objecting to TCHRD’s accreditation saying, “TCHRD is a separatist organization that is same in nature as ‘International Campaign for Tibet’ and ‘Tibet Justice Center’ whose applications for accreditation were resolutely rejected by the Commission on Sustainable Development acting as the preparatory committee for the WSSD.”

Ambassador Wang’s letter was circulated by the UN to its members.

“TCHRD’s activities fall well within the purview of the World Summit for Social Development,” responded Tsewang Lhadon, director of TCHRD.

“Human rights are an imperative to sustainable development. Sustainable development can be fulfilled only in a human rights framework within which there is meaningful participation of the people who are affected by it,” Lhadon added.

TCHRD, established in 1996, is the first Tibetan NGO with the specific mandate of protecting and promoting human rights of the Tibetan people.

TCHRD has asked the Prepcom Secretariat to circulate its letter to Secretary-General Annan to the members but has received no response.

The Chinese delegation to the Bali Prepcom, which began on May 27 and concludes on June 4, includes a Tibetan by the name of Tanzan Lhundup.

The Summit and its related Global Forum (NGOs) will take place in Johannesburg in South Africa from August 19, 2002, to September 4, 2002.