Sep 27, 2012

UNPO President Ngawang Choephel Speaker At International Conference In Germany

UNPO President Ngawang Choephel is set to speak at an international conference which seeks to assess the potential impact of the Chinese leadership on the Uyghur human rights situation in East Turkestan. The conference will be held on 1 October 2012 and will be staged at the Bavarian Parliament in Munich, Germany.

The conference has been organised by the East Turkestan Union in Europe and The World Uyghur Congress (WUC) in collaboration with and support from two Bavarian parliamentary groups, namely the SPD and the Green Party. Attendees will hear from a variety of speakers who possess a wealth of expertise in the field of human rights in China and, more specifically, in those relating to the Uyghurs in East Turkestan.


The timing of the international conference is particularly poignant since 1 October is the day on which the People’s  Republic of China was founded and freedom and human rights were lost for millions of people. The situation of the Uyghur people in East Turkestan after 63 years of the Chinese communist occupation and the impact of the Chinese leadership change will be at the forefront of the agenda at the conference.


The opening remarks will be led by WUC President and eminent Uyghur human rights activist Ms Rebiya Kadeer, and Mr Markus Rinderspacher (Chairman of the SPD parliamentary group at Bavarian Parliament) and Ms Margarete Bause (Chairwoman of the Green Party parliamentary group at Bavarian Parliament) will also be taking the floor to provide their take on this vital issue.


Following the opening remarks, attendees will hear from two panels of experts: the first panel will consist of Mr. Choephel and which will focus specifically on the potential impacts of the leadership on Uyghurs; the second panel will draw upon the wider issues of the leadership change and how the international community may or should respond.


The conference falls shortly before sweeping changes to China’s leadership that are expected to take place in October 2012 at 18th National Congress of China. Current Paramount Leader, Hu Jintao, and China’s Premier, Wen Jiabao will have to vacate their positions at the highest echelons of power in China, paving the way for potential reform or hardening current policies; the direction to which this will take depends largely on whom the next leaders will be.


This stands as a particularly important period for Uyghurs as there could be some rare opportunities for improvements in human rights that have until now been either scarce or non-existent. This Conference will provide an opportunity for the Uyghur community to engage in discussion about the permutations of this large-scale leadership change and how it might affect them and their families or friends still residing in East Turkestan.