Appeal to EU HR Javier Solana
Thisted, 11 June 2008
Open letter to
Javier Solana, EU High Representative for CFSP
Council of the European Union
Rue de la Loi, 175 B-1048 Brussels
Freedom and Human Rights -
in relation to the Olympic Games
Will the EU put acion behind its words and principles?
Honourable EU HR Javier Solana,
Like many other citizens of the EU, I am greatly concerned about the situation in Tibet and China.
If we continue to close our eyes to the violations against the Tibetans – a people practicing love, compassion and tolerance in despite of oppression - we are jeopardizing our values.
Previous to the Olympic Games on August 8, 2008 human rights violations in China are rapidly increasing. Tibetans are killed in cold blood and suffer cultural and religious persecution, political critics are treated as criminals and other sections of the population are transferred against their will to give room for the Olympic Games. So far more than 1 million Tibetans have lost their lives and more than 6.000 monasteries been destroyed since the Chinese invasion in 1949.
The Olympic Games is not only the biggest sports event of the world, but through the Olympic Movement (see attached ethical overview) strongly committed to the Olympic ideals of contributing to building a peaceful and better world, who are concerned about the preservation of human dignity.
IOC has mixed sports and politics by electing a host country that does not comply with and respect the ethical principles according to the Olympic Charter.
The situation is aggravated by the fact that the international community for decades has closed its eyes to China's oppression.
The United Nations has for decades been working for better conditions for the world's indigenous peoples. Last year the United Nations General Assembly adopted The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, emphasizing the right to develop internal self-government (see attached overview: Indigenous Peoples and the UN).
We now have the opportunity to put action behind our principles. By requiring improvement in the human rights situation in China for official participation in the opening ceremony and by maintaining a critical and constructive dialogue.
Requiring that China carries on serious negotiations with the Dalai Lama on the issue of self-government, frees political prisoners, allows an independent investigation of the situation in Tibet and respects press freedom and human rights in general.
A complete boycott of the Olympic Games is not desirable, as it will further discourage changes than promote them.
An uncritical participation in the Olympics must be considered an approval of the Chinese government, undermining the reformists in the country and hereby slowing down progress.
It is in China's own interest to give more freedom to the Tibetans, as it will release large resources and benefit the economic, political and cultural relations with other countries.
China has existing laws on cultural autonomy, which have never been implemented -and could meet criticism by implementing these.
Violation of human rights must never become a national issue. Since China will never be more receptive to constructive dialogue than here prior to the Olympics, the changes must be implemented now so that the sports can be celebrated properly without being overshadowed by double standards and violence.
Everybody will benefit from a constructive dialogue – China as well.
It is my hope for humanity, that we all will be able to live in peace and harmony, disregarding to differences in form of government, religion etc. – and that we will not oppress the happiness and freedom of other people.
Enclosed: Olympic ear plugs
Freedom and Human Rights for Everyone!
The Olympic Movement
Ethics and the Olympic Charter
In the very fundamental principles appears, that the goal of Olympism among others is – in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play - to contribute to building a peaceful and better world; and promote the establishment of a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity.
The mission of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is to promote Olympism in accordance with the Olympic Charter and hereby among others to participate in acts promoting peace, to protect the Olympic Movement and to act against any form of discrimination affecting the Olympic Movement.
Of the terms of belonging to the Olympic Movement appears, that any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic Movement; and that belonging to the Olympic Movement requires respect for universal fundamental ethical principles.
Regarding to election of the host city it is determined, that the right to organize The Olympic Games is conditional on, that The National Government of the country of the applicant city submits to the IOC a legally binding instrument by which the said government undertakes and guarantees that the country and its public authorities will comply with and respect the Olympic Charter.
In the event of non compliance with the Olympic Charter or other regulations or instructions of the IOC, or a breach of the obligations entered into by the NOC, the OCOG or the host city, the IOC is entitled to withdraw, at any time and with immediate effect, the organisation of the Olympic Games from the host city, the OCOG and the NOC.
FE/7 April 2008
Freedom and Human Rights for Everyone!
The United Nations
Indigenous Peoples and The United Nations
The right to self-determination was not included in the historical Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948, but was included in the first article of the UN Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the UN Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1966. By recognising people's right to self-determination the foundation was laid for a future discussion of indigenous peoples' right to self-determination.
In 1970 the United Nations agreed to investigate the violations against indigenous peoples and shortly after to carry out The Study of the Problem of Discrimination against Indigenous Populations. This resulted in the UN opening its doors to a large number of indigenous representatives from around the world.
In 1982 the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights established The Working Group on Indigenous Populations as a forum that could listen to indigenous peoples' concerns and work for the rights of indigenous peoples. The group meets one week annually in Geneva in July.
1993 was marked as International Year of the World's Indigenous Peoples. For the first time in UN history indigenous leaders spoke from the podium in the General Assembly. The goal for the year was to strengthen international cooperation to solve the problems which indigenous people encountered in human rights, environment, development, education and health. The theme for the year was: "Indigenous Peoples: A New Partnership". The overall goal for the year was to develop a new and equitable relationship between the international community, states and indigenous peoples based on the participation of indigenous peoples in the planning, implementation and evaluation of projects related to their living conditions and future.
Then followed The First International Decade of the World's Indigenous People (1995 - 2004) and the second decade (2005-2014). The objective of the decades is to strengthen indigenous peoples' voice in the international community, and a primary objective was the establishment of The Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, an advisory body under the UN Economic and Social Council, working exclusively with issues relating to indigenous peoples. The Permanent Forum held their first meeting in May 2002.
UN General Assembly has decided to celebrate The International Day of the World's Indigenous People on 9 August every year during The International Decade of Indigenous People.
On September 13, 2007 the UN General Assembly adopted The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The declaration builds on the fundamental principle of peoples right to self-determination, emphasizing the right to develop an internal self-government. The declaration will be important in the future work to ensure the human rights of indigenous people and their survival through respect for their culture, languages and lifestyles.
FE/11 June 2008
Freedom and Human Rights for Everyone!