International Campaign for Tibet statement on US withdrawal from the UN Human Rights Council

As an organization dedicated to working for human rights and democratic freedom of the Tibetan people, the International Campaign for Tibet regrets the US decision to withdraw from the UN Human Rights Council. The United States has been among those countries that have consistently raised the issue of human rights of the Tibetan people in the UN Human Rights Council.

US Ambassador to UN Nikki Haley, while explaining the US decision on June 19, 2018, said that it was the US position that reforms were needed to make the Human Rights Council a serious advocate for human rights. She said that the Human Rights Council has become a protector of human rights abusers, and listed China among the countries that “attempted to undermine our reform efforts this past year.”

In its first Tibet Negotiations Report to Congress in May this year, the Trump Administration’s State Department said, “The US Government remains concerned by the lack of meaningful autonomy for Tibetans within China, ongoing violations and abuses of the human rights of Tibetans in China, and efforts by Chinese authorities to eliminate the distinct religious, linguistic, and cultural identity of Tibetans. The United States believes the Chinese government must address these concerns to create conditions for a sustainable settlement, which is essential to the long-term stability of the region.”

Similarly, in response to written questions on Tibet by Senators during his confirmation hearing, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said, “I share your concerns about the Chinese government’s repressive policies and lack of respect for human rights in Tibet. If confirmed, I will recommend that the United States express publicly, and at the highest levels of government, that Chinese authorities need to engage in meaningful and direct dialogue with the Dalai Lama or his representatives, without preconditions, to lower tensions and resolve differences.”

We urge Secretary Mike Pompeo and the State Department to keep to these commitments to raise the issue of human rights of the Tibetan people with the Chinese Government at the highest level.

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