His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Matteo Mecacci at a press conference in Assago, Italy on June 28, 2012. File Photo
DHARAMSALA, December 13: A prominent US based organization for Tibet today appointed a former Italian legislator its new president. The International Campaign for Tibet, as it became to be known after it was started in Washington DC in 1988, said in a statement issued today that it was an "honor" to announce Matteo Meccacci as the new president.
Matteo Mecacci takes the helm at the advocacy organization this week. Richard Gere, Chairman of the ICT Board, said that the board was thrilled to welcome Matteo at an important and exciting moment for ICT and the Tibet movement worldwide. "I’ve known and worked with Matteo for many years and know him to be an energetic, compassionate and creative leader with a solid track record in working with evolving democracies all over the world. Matteo has a deep connection to the Dalai Lama and Tibet, an awareness of the political, cultural and social dynamics within China and Tibet, and brings to ICT considerable experience in diplomacy, democracy and advocacy,” said Gere.
Matteo Mecacci, a former Italian member of Parliament who advanced a human rights and democracy agenda both in Italy and globally, served as a member of the Italian Chamber of Deputies and was a member of the Italian delegation to the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe.
Mecacci is expected to lead the organization in the implementation of a five-year strategic plan.
Mecacci believes that as China grows more assertive on the world stage, the need to advance the struggle for the survival of Tibetan culture and freedoms becomes even more important, not only for Tibetans, but for the world. "The work of the International Campaign for Tibet is essential in demonstrating that the power of truth and human values cannot be suppressed, and ensuring that the spirit and resilience of the Tibetan people will impact the capitals and societies of the free world,” said Mecacci.
Matteo Mecacci joins ICT after leading an election-monitoring mission to Georgia; he has participated in similar missions in more than 20 countries including Turkey, Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan. He played an important role in an international campaign that led in 2007 to the adoption of the first UN General Assembly resolution calling for a world moratorium of capital executions, and for assisting various countries in adhering to the Rome statute that established the International Criminal Court.
Matteo was elected Chairperson of the Italian Parliamentary Intergroup for Tibet after being voted in as Deputy for the Radical Party on the Democratic Party lists at the 2008 general elections. In November 2009, he organized the 5th World Parliamentarians Convention on Tibet in Rome, which hosted the Dalai Lama and established an International Network of Parliamentarians on Tibet (INPaT). He became Co-Chair of the network with Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Thomas Mann in June 2010. Matteo has played an active role in promoting Tibetan democracy in exile, and was a member of the Tibetan Election Observation Mission in March, 2011 when the Tibetan community in exile undertook elections for the Central Tibetan Administration leadership.
Matteo Mecacci, who was born in Firenze (Florence), Italy, served as a member of the Italian Chamber of Deputies (on its Foreign Affairs Committee) as well as an elected official of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Parliamentary Assembly.