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Tibetan Group Loses Vote to Attend UN Conference

[WTN-L World Tibet Network News. Published by The Canada Tibet Committee. Issue ID: 02/02/10; February 10, 2002.]

Chicago Tribune
February 10, 2002.

UNITED NATIONS -- In a victory for China, a UN committee has voted overwhelmingly to exclude a group seeking self-determination for Tibet from attending a United Nations conference on development.

China had lobbied intensively to block the Washington-based International Campaign for Tibet from the World Summit on Sustainable Development, which will be held in Johannesburg from Aug. 26 to Sept. 4.

Last year, it failed to keep the group from participating in the World Conference on Racism in Durban, South Africa.

U.S. Ambassador John Negroponte had phoned other ambassadors early Friday to urge them to support the organization's current application.

But a Chinese motion to block participation was approved later in the day in New York by the committee preparing for the summit. The vote was 93-44, with 16 abstentions. All 189 UN member states are committee members.

A U.S. official said Washington "felt strongly" the group should have been included and was disappointed with the vote.

The International Campaign for Tibet said representatives plan to go to the World Summit in partnership with other organizations "to give voice to Tibetans and discuss sustainable development in Tibet."

Communist troops occupied Tibet in 1950 and its spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, fled after a failed uprising in 1959. China maintains the nation is part of its territory.


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