April 18, 2000: Despite increased repression in Tibet and China, and the efforts of a large coalition of Canadian and international NGOs, a resolution condemning China's human right abuses failed following a no-action motion today in Geneva. Canadian NGOs place part of the blame for the failed resolution on Canada's decision last week not to co-sponsor the mildly-worded resolution.
"Canada has hammered the final nail into the coffin of its human rights policy" said Thubten Samdup, President of the Canada Tibet Committee. "Minister Axworthy stood in front of the UN Commission on Human Rights and lectured about the universality of rights, but his government abandoned one fifth of humanity."
Referring to the lack of co-sponsors for the resolution which was introduced by the United States, Mr. Samdup expressed disappointment at the dwindling support for a multilateral approach to protecting human rights in Tibet and China.
"Human rights in Tibet and China may now become strictly a matter of US-China relations and those relations are more about power and trade than about human rights" Samdup said. "The UN Charter requires all its members to promote and protect human rights wherever they occur, but business interests have clearly taken precidence over that commitment."
Tibetans point to their recent campaign against the China National Petroleum Corporation's bid to list on the New York stock exchange, as a more appropriate approach to pressuring China. "If governments have prioritized business over human rights, then we will just have to do the same." Samdup said.
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For more information: Thubten Samdup, 514-867-6770