The Tibet Advocacy Training, organised by the Central Tibetan Administration’s Department of Information and International Relations (DIIR) in collaboration with the Office of Tibet, Geneva successfully concluded on 21 September 2022.
The training officially concluded with the submission of a joint appeal letter to UNHRC signed by the V-TAG members and all other participants to UN officials in Geneva. The appeal letter covered five of the most pertaining and urgent human rights violation issues in Tibet that required the UN’s attention and intervention such as the concerning reports of Tibetans being subjected to mistreatments under the pretext of zero-Covid policy in Lhasa, while proposing to the UNHRC some recommendations relevant to those issues.
On the third and the final day of the training titled “Tibet advocacy at the UN and its Mechanism” in Geneva, Switzerland, the participants were taken on an excursion to the United Nations. The trainees including, the Voluntary Tibet Advocacy Group (V-TAG) members, representatives of Dharamshala-based Tibetan CSOs, Europe-based Tibetan youth and CTA staff, observed and experienced the ongoing UN Human Rights Council’s (UNHRC) 51st regular session as well as the UN premises.
Representative Thinlay Chukki from Tibet Bureau Geneva briefly explained how the UNHRC session and the side events are conducted at the UN. She also shared her experience with organising events at UNHRC and answered questions from the participants.
In the afternoon, some of the participants shared their thoughts and feedback of the training held from 19th to 21st September, while others narrated their life-changing experiences that led to them in their activism as well as being motivated to contribute to the Tibetan movement.
A participant from Germany expressed that he learned a great deal about advocacy in general, and Tibet advocacy in particular, from the training and expressed how important studying Tibetan history is from all types of sources, be it literature or even hearing oral history and the stories from our grandparents. A fellow participant from France also shared similar sentiment and appreciated how this training helped in connecting V-TAG members across Europe.
The organisers thanked the participants for their active engagement throughout the training and appreciated that the participants will leave with better knowledge and an increased level of motivation after realising that as Tibetans, we all need to do so much more to strengthen Tibet advocacy at the UN. Many admired the whole experience of being able to connect with an enthusiastic group of Tibetans with different experiences and from around the world. The participants then visited The Tibet Bureau Geneva office for a short tour.