By Tenzin Sangmo
Tibetan Issues & International Community Workshop at TCRC Hall, T-Building, CTA, Jan. 15, 2019 Phayul Photo: Tenzin Sangmo
DHARAMSHALA, Jan. 13: A two-day workshop on "Tibetan Issues and International Community," jointly organized by the UN, EU and Human Rights Desk and Office of Tibet, Geneva under the Department of Information and International Relations (DIIR) of Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) kick-started today at T-building, Gangchen Kyishong.
Representatives of various departments of CTA and NGOs in Dharamshala were seen taking part in the initial half day of introduction with the panel of human rights and environment specialists.
The team of delegation and resource persons included Mr Adrien-Cluade Zoller, a political scientist, and management consultant, Mrs. Marguerite Contat, a former delegate in International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Mr. Yves Lador, a representative of Earth Justice, UN and Mr. Joshua Cooper, a human rights expert and activist based in Hawaii, chaired the introductory session discussing agendas and setting expectations.
The workshop will cover Human rights and International Institutions and Environment and Climate Change: Tibet & Himalayan Region.
The TCHRD representative at the workshop expressed pleasure for being invited for a directly relevant workshop for the first time.
“The existence of many NGOs in Dharamshala is an indication of the existence of civil society here,” said Zoller who also said since the world is changing, Tibetans may have to adapt their strategies. “Twenty years ago, we couldn’t speak about the box for minorities because there was no box, now there is.”
It was spelt out clearly at the workshop that the goal is to empower the members present by imparting information about the human rights mechanism in place in order to come up with strategies best able to relay the message in the international forum and to capitalize on the solidarity shared by members of other societies facing a similar situation.
Lador said the discussion with the Tibet Bureau in Geneva convinced him that it is an issue worth covering. “Your narrative has a different impact on others. We are here to tell you what is being understood. You have to ensure that your narratives carry the message you want it to carry.”
He, however, clarified that the panel is not here to tell the Tibetans what that narrative should be.
Mrs Kalden Tsomo, the UN Advocacy Officer at the Tibet Bureau – Geneva, expressed hope that the workshop will take the advocacy work to the next level.