The Geneva Forum will begin discussing the decline of human rights in China’s sphere of influence in 2023.

The Geneva Forum 2023, jointly organised by the Department of Information and International Relations (DIIR) and the Tibet Bureau Geneva, commenced today on 26 October 2023.

The inaugural ceremony of the two-day forum was virtually addressed by Honourable Arunas Valinskas, a Member of Parliament, Lithuania; Honourable Nicolas Walder, a Member of Parliament, Switzerland; and Honourable Kalon (Minister) Norzin Dolma from the organising department.

Representative Rigzin Choedon Genkhang (Bureau du Tibet, Brussels), DIIR Additional Secretary Tenzin Lekshey, and other distinguished guests including human rights experts, practitioners, academicians, activists, governments, diplomats, think tanks, civil society groups and members of the Europe V-TAG also attended the opening ceremony of the forum.

After expressing her deep appreciation to all the attendees for their participation, Kalon Norzin Dolma said, “PRC government at this time is facing legitimacy deficit in Tibet, Taiwan, Hong Kong, East Turkistan, Manchuria, Inner Mongolia and many other regions where the resistance movements and activists still persists in different forms and different degrees. And as expected out of an authoritarian regime like China, China’s policy response to these persecuted groups have been one of stability maintenance. So this is crushing dissent and monopolising every means of public expression that contradicts the official CCP’s position, governance and policies, and also ensuring compliance to CCP’s rule and legitimacy. Therefore, it is the human rights violation in China is symptomatic of larger issues including legitimacy crises.”

Over the course of the forum, an array of topics concerning the decline of Human Rights situations in regions under the PRC including the Chinese Communist Party’s Sinicisation policy, and China’s transnational aggression will be discussed by the participants in order to bring the spotlight on the ground situation in regions under the People’s Republic of China.

The Geneva Forum was conceived in the backdrop of the third cycle of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of China. The first Geneva Forum was held on 2 November 2018. Following a positive reception based on overwhelming encouraging feedback, a day-long forum evolved into a two-day event to ensure that all major issues concerning the central theme were discussed and deliberated extensively.

The forum will also discuss and review the rights record of China under Thematic Panels
1. Human Rights Trends: Situation in Regions Under China
2. Silencing Voices: China’s Assimilationist Policy and Crackdown
on Defenders
3. Development or Neo-Colonization? – Tibet and Regions under China
4. China’s Global Footprints: Surveillance and Transnational Repression

The Geneva Forum expects to build a network of organisations and experts focusing on human rights and religious freedom in China and develop coordinated efforts to challenge and improve China’s human rights record. It also expects to strengthen mainstream media attention and public discourse on the deteriorating human rights record in the most remote parts under the rule of the CCP.

News Desk

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