A message of support from Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the US Congress, on the 5th World Parliamentarian Convention on Tibet from 18 to 19 November 2009 in Rome, Italy

The Honorable Matteo Mecacci
President, Parliamentary Group for Tibet
Member, Foreign Affairs Commission
Camera Dei Deputati Italiana
Palazzo Montecitorio
Rome, Italy

Dear Deputy Mecacci:

Congratulations on the convening of the Fifth World Parliamentary Conference on Tibet.

Please extend my best wishes to the impressive and diverse group of legislators and participants from more than thirty countries that are covering at this conference.

The value of global parliamentary support for the Tibetan people cannot be understated. There is strong support for Tibet around the world thanks, in part, to the leadership of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and his efforts to promote peace, non-violence, and understanding around the world.

The United States Congress has long stood as a bedrock of support for the Tibetan people. In 2007, I was proud to stand with President Bush to award the Gold Medal to His Holiness for his “many enduring and outstanding contributions to peace, non-violence, human rights, religious understanding.” Last month, Members of Congress again stood with His Holiness as he received a human rights prize from the Lantos Foundation, established to honor the late Congressman Tom Lantos, who helped our Congress become the first legislative body in the world to receive the Dalai Lama and give its support for Tibet.

In the following two decades, the Congress has done much to institutionalize the issue of Tibet in our government including the creation of a Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues and dedicated funding to assist Tibetan communities. Likewise, much progress has been made sine the first World Parliamentary Conference on Tibet in 1994. This conference can strengthen our collective efforts through the sharing of information and strategies.

The international community has a shared responsibility to help the Tibetan people. If freedom loving people do not speak out for human rights in China and Tibet then we lose moral authority to speak out in other places in the world. As Speaker of the House as a friend of Tibet, I send my greetings and wish you a productive 5th World Parliamentary Conference on Tibet.

Thank you for your leadership.


Speaker of the House