ICT works with parliamentary bodies worldwide to generate support for Tibet, advocating for governments to become better coordinated and better informed on Tibetan issues. As a sign of their support, members of parliament in governments throughout the world have organized themselves around their concerns over Tibet. Members of these parliamentary groups serve as advocates for the Tibetan people and address Tibet-related issues through their own governments.
Parliamentary Groups on Tibet
World Parliamentarian Conventions
There have been four World Parliamentarian Conventions on Tibet (WPCT) since 1994; the most recent of these was hosted by the Scottish Cross Party Group for Tibet in Edinburgh in November 2005. The 2005 WPCT provided an opportunity for members of the 30 parliamentary groups for Tibet worldwide as well as individual parliamentary Tibet supporters to meet, exchange views and develop strategies to ensure an imminent negotiated solution to the issue of Tibet.
The first World Parliamentarians Convention on Tibet was held in New Delhi from March 18-20, 1994, and attracted 67 parliamentarians from 25 countries. It issued a statement on March 20, which has come to be known as the New Delhi Statement on Tibetan Freedom, reaffirming the independence of Tibet before its invasion and subsequent occupation by China, called “for the formation of all-party parliamentarian groups on Tibet in the parliaments which did not have such groups, as well as an international network of parliamentarians to co-ordinate activities on the Tibetan issue.”
The second World Parliamentarian Convention on Tibet, held from March 26-28, 1995, in Vilnius, Lithuania, attracted 88 parliamentarians from 21 countries. The convention reaffirmed its support to the New Delhi Statement on Tibetan Freedom and resolved to “initiate investigations, hearings and inquiries on the legitimacy of China’s claim that Tibet is a part of China, in every parliament represented at the convention, and to persuade members of other parliaments to do the same, as a prelude to according recognition to the Tibetan Government in Exile.”
The third World Parliamentarian Convention on Tibet was held in Washington, D.C., from April 23-24, 1997. A message from President Clinton opened the Convention, which was hosted by the U.S. House International Relations Committee and the Congress under the leadership of Senator Jesse Helms and Representative Benjamin Gilman.