August 3, 2015
Dear UNPO Members and friends,
In the month of June, the preparations for the XII General Assembly took center stage at UNPO. Nevertheless, in light of the upcoming visit of President of Chile to Brussels for the EU-CELAC summit, UNPO also joined Mapuche Coordination Europe, TALM-Belgium, CoMaBe and ARLAC to organize and participate in a demonstration in front of the European Parliament to remind EU officials about the human rights violations of the Chilean State against indigenous populations.
In addition, UNPO convened an international conference entitled "Freedom of Religion? The Price of Faith" at the European Parliament hosted by Csaba Sógor MEP (EPP), György Hölvényi MEP (EPP) and Ilhan Kyuchyuk MEP (ALDE), which addressed the issues arising when people’s freedom to practice their religion comes into contention with social and geopolitical forces, as well as the question of how to promote constructive relations between religious communities and cultures.
On the occasion of the 80th birthday of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the International Campaign for Tibet, the Office of Tibet in Brussels and UNPO jointly held a special event and exhibition at the European Parliament, hosted by MEPs Thomas Mann (EPP) and Csaba Sógor (EPP).
Between 2 and 4 July, UNPO Members from across the world gathered in the capital of Europe for the three-day General Assembly, which opened at the European Parliament with the conference entitled “Auctioning Human Rights? Democracy and the Right to Decide”, hosted by Mr Josu Juaristi Abaunz MEP (GUE/NGL), which represented a good opportunity for UNPO Members to reflect on and share their experiences with regards to human rights, self-determination and democratic challenges. During the General Assembly, UNPO ceremoniously ratified the membership of new nations and peoples, opened a photojournalistic exhibition on the lives of indigenous peoples, adopted a General Resolution and Member-specific Resolutions and elected a new President, Vice-President and 9 Presidency Members.
Last, but not least, the crowdfunding campaign "My Goat, My Hope’’ drew to a close on 17 July with remarkable success, having raised 103% of the funds by the last day of the campaign and $2,624 in total. The raised funds will provide livestock assistance and help establish new platforms for small-scale community development for the Batwa, a community severely vulnerable to poverty in Rwanda.
For more details and information about our past and upcoming events, please download the newsletter here.