By Tenzin Dharpo
Geneva Human Rights Forum 2018-Speakers, Moderators, Representatives of the Offices of Tibet and the Organizers in-front of the broken chair, Geneva. Photo@ Photo © Niels Ackermann _ DIIR_CTA_Geneva
DHARAMSHALA, Nov. 5: The Central Tibetan Administration’s information and international relations wing held a forum at Geneva, Switzerland, on Friday ahead of China’s third human rights situation review by the United Nations known as the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) on November 6, 2018.
The forum titled “Geneva Forum-2018: Forum on Human Rights Situation in Regions under the PRC” deliberated on key issues such as rights and freedom, surveillance, security, censorship, online scrutiny, among others, in regions including China, Tibet, East Turkestan, Southern Mongolia and Hong Kong. The one-day meet saw human rights experts, academics, diplomats, practitioners, advocates and other stakeholders participate in the event to form a coalition against China’s worsening human rights record.
Secretary Sonam Norbu Dagpo said, “Since the last cycle UPR in 2013, China has failed to implement even the simplest of provisions to protect the rights of the people under its rule, including failing to implement accepted recommendations from both previous UPR cycles.
“The lack of joint action from governments has served to exacerbate the situation and the impunity under which the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) strips its citizens of universal human rights. Furthermore, China’s tactics to silence criticism of its behaviour have been even more aggressive in recent years,” he added.
Swiss legislator Lisa Mazzone, who was the Special Guest of the forum said that China’s influence in Europe and particularly in her nation is regrettable adding, “Our [Swiss] government has not welcomed His Holiness the Dalai Lama since 2005, and is deepening ties with China. This for me is unacceptable.”
The UPR is a United Nations apparatus that periodically examines the human rights situation of all its 193 UN Member States. China was reviewed the first time in 2009 and for the second time in 2013.
Observers say that China has been relentless in silencing dissent in the mainland as well as many of its controlled region. Successive United Nations High Commissioners for Human Rights have not been able to visit China and UN authorities 15 visit requests are still pending.