Jun 20, 2001

Danish hearing on Chechnya and human rights

UNPO Vice Chairman Göran Hansson, on 19 June 2001, participated in a Danish-sponsored hearing on Chechnya and human rights. The hearing took place at the Danish Parliament building, Christiansborg and was chaired by Mrs Vibeke von Sperling. Mrs Von Sperling is a Member of the Board of the Danish Foreign Policy Society.

The keynote speaker was Mr Sergei Adamovich Kovalyev, Member of the Russian State Duma and close associate of the late Andrei Sakharov. The Russian government declined an invitation to participate, but was nevertheless represented among the audience by a Russian embassy official. Representatives of the Royal Danish Defence College also participated in the discussions.

Mr Hansson was allowed one statement and used the opportunity to emphasise that the UNPO is probably the only international NGO which allows Chechnya a full and continuous voice in the world. UNPO has the trust and confidence of the Chechnyan leadership to act as inter-mediator, should Russia decide to look for a new avenue to solve the current deadlock situation in the region.

According to Mr Hansson the Russian diplomat approached him afterwards with a request to obtain more information on UNPO and on the "proposal" to use the services of UNPO in the conflict in Chechnya. However, it needs to be seen whether this would reflect any serious interest from the Russian side.