Prague, Czech Republic: On 14th Nov 2022, a Tibetan parliamentary delegation consisting of Parliamentarians Youdon Aukatsang, Tenpa Yarphel, and Wangdue Dorjee who are currently in Europe for an official tour took part in a conference organised by the Czech Senate’s Vice-Presidents Jitka Seitlová and Jiří Oberfalzer in cooperation with the Friends of Tibet Group in the Senate and the International Campaign for Tibet, Czechs Support Tibet, Sinopsis and European Values Center for Security Policy. The conference discussed what can the Czech Republic and the European Union do to address the crisis in Tibet? what can the Czech Republic and the European Union do to address the crisis in Tibet? and why is its resolution in Europe’s interest?
At the Senate of the Czech Republic, the opening session of the conference began with statement by Jiří Oberfalzer, Vice-President of the Czech Senate, followed by welcome addresses by Přemysl Rabas, Chairman of the Tibet support group in the Czech Senate, Jiří Kozák, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, Marek Havrda, Deputy Minister for European Affairs of the Czech Republic, and Youdon Aukatsang, Member of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile.
The first session discussed the situation in Tibet with Thinlay Chukki, Representative of the Dalai Lama and the CTA for Central and Eastern Europe, speaking on the overview of the human rights situation in Tibet, Tenpa Yarphel, Member of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile, speaking on the freedom of religion in Tibet and the succession of Tibetan Lamas, and finally with Michael van Walt van Praag, International Law professor, speaking on the status of Tibet and international responsibility in resolving the Sino-Tibetan conflict.
Discussing what the European Union can do to address the Tibetan crisis in the second session, Youdon Aukatsang, Member of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile, explained why is it in Europe’s interest to support Tibet, followed talks on the state and prospects of EU-China relations, the war in Ukraine: impacts on EU foreign policy on China and Tibet, and the role of the European Parliament by Balázs Gargya, Policy Officer – China, European External Action Service; David Plášek, Analyst, European Values Center for Security Policy; and Isabel Santos, Member of the European Parliament respectively.
Likewise, discussing the international perspective and the prospects for cooperation and partnership with Tibetans in exile in the third session, Pavel Fischer, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Security, spoke on the searching for options to resolve the Tibetan crisis: the role of liberal democracy, followed by Eva Decroix, Member of the Chamber of Deputies, speaking on advancing human rights in Tibet: the importance of cooperation between like-minded states and Kai Müller, Head of the UN advocacy team and Executive Director, International Campaign for Tibet Germany speaking on the UN Human Rights Council: a battleground for human rights in China and Tibet. Finally, Samuel Chu, President, The Campaign for Hong Kong spoke on Hong Kong and Tibet: bridges and opportunities to advance human rights and democracy.
The conference concluded with closing remarks by Wangpo Tethong, Executive Director, International Campaign for Tibet Europe; Hayato Josef Okamura, Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee and Chairman of the Tibet support group of the Czech Chamber of Deputies; and Jitka Seitlová, Vice-President of the Czech Senate.