In Remembrance, Commemoration and Celebration: UNPO GA Stands By the Ogoni and Tibetan Peoples
At the XV UNPO General Assembly, the UNPO passed a resolution in order to recognise and commemorate the achievements and legacies of former UNPO leaders and to reaffirm the organisation's commitment to the causes of the Tibetan and Ogoni peoples. The resolution also urges the international community to live up to the legacies of these great leaders by continually striving for the implementation of international standards in Tibet and Ogoniland.
First of all, the UNPO seeks to warmly congratulate the founding General Secretary of the UNPO, Michael van Walt van Praag, who in April this year was awarded with the royal distinction of Commander of the Order of Orange-Nassau by the Kingdom of the Netherlands for his work on behalf of unrepresented nations and peoples.
The UNPO has also taken the opportunity of the XV General Assembly to commemorate the passing of a number of UNPO leaders since the last General Assembly. Lodi Gyari, the former Special Envoy to His Holiness the Dalai Lama and UNPO co-founder, passed away in October 2018, leaving behind a life-long legacy of significant advancement of the cause of self-determination, non-violence and dignity, not only for theTibetan people, but for all unrepresented nations and peoples worldwide. Another Tibetan, Ngawang Choephel, former UNPO President, passed away in November 2019.
The UNPO also took the opportunity to stand solidarity of the Ogoni people of Nigeria in commemoration of the 25th Anniversary of the murder of Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight other Ogoni environmental activists.The UNPO also sends its support to the family of Ken Saro Wiwa as they continue to seek justice for the unlawful murder of their loved one.
In the resolution, the UNPO urges the government Peoples Republic of China to respect the right to self-determination of the Tibetan people and decries the continuing human rights violations being committed against them. Similarly, the UNPO condemns the government of Nigeria’s allowance of environmental destruction in Ogoni lands and urge the government of Nigeria to fully and transparently implement the United Nations Environment Programme Report on Ogoni.
Finally, the UNPO urges the international community to live up to the legacies of these great leaders by continually striving for the implementation of international standards in Tibet and Ogoni. In particular, we urge the US and EU governments, including the government of the Netherlands, to hold to account their citizens who have committed or profited from human rights violations in Ogoni and Tibet, and the perpetrators of the crimes committed against the Ogoni and Tibetan people more generally.
With the adoption of this resolution, the UNPO General Assembly reaffirms its commitment to the causes of the Tibetan and Ogoni peoples.