Third day of the 7th World Parliamentarians’ Convention on Tibet

Riga: The Third day of the 7th World Parliamentarians’ Convention on Tibet started with panel session, chaired by Hon. Matteo Macacci, former Member of Italian Parliament and Co-Chairperson of INPaT, President of International Campaign for Tibet.

Mr. Jonathan N. Stivers, Staff Director of Congressional Executive Commission on China talked about ‘Status of US policy on Tibet’. He acknowledged the work of Hon. Matteo Macacci and the International Campaign for Tibet because they led an extremely effective advocacy effort in support for the Tibet Reciprocity Act last year.

He requested all the world Parliamentarians and advocates in attendance to consider passing their own version of the Reciprocal Access to Tibet to promote access to Tibet by diplomats, journalist, tourist and others.

He further said that the US Congress including the CECC believe it is important for Parliamentarians and governments to make strong, clear and unequivocal statement that the decision regarding His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s succession or incarnation must be reserved for current His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Buddhist and the Tibetan people.

After that Mr. Carl Gershman, President of National Endowment for Democracy, USA remembered his old friend late Lodi Gyari and late George Fernandes who were great champions of democracy and Tibetan freedom and shared some memories with them from past.

The Panel session continued with talk on ‘Policies of European Union on Tibet’ by Hon. Csaba Sogar, MEP and Mr. Vincent Metten, EU Policy Director of Europe ICT. Hon. Csaba Sogor talked about issue of Tibet in the European Union; he focuses on the motion for which how he got close to the issue of Tibet and his experiences as a member of an autochthonous ethnic minority group within his country.

He also briefed about what EU did for the issue of Tibet in the past years to keep human rights abuses on the agenda and his wishes on what EU should do in the future. He further formulated some wishes and recommendations for the new European Parliament that will start its mandate in July after the election.

Then Mr. Vincent Metten, EU Policy Director of Europe ICT presented EU-China Dialogue architecture, which was divided into political dialogue, Economic, Spectral and people to people dialogue, giving details of dialogues between EU and China. He also talked about belt and road initiative and its effect.

During briefing session, chaired by Hon. Gareth Hughes, Member of New Zealand Parliament, Parliamentarians shared their views and suggestions. Afterwards participants were divided into four working groups and more discussions were held.

Finally, Chaired by Hon. Di Nino, former Member of Canadian Parliament, the presentation and discussion on draft of Action Plan witness presentation by group representative, report of working group and discussion on the Riga Declaration, which was assisted by Ms. Christa Meindersma, Advocacy and Communication Director of ITC Europe and Prof. Michael Van Walt Praag.

And after returning back to Hotel, Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile hosted farewell dinner to the participants of the 7th World Parliamentarians’ Convention on Tibet and presented them souvenirs.