Apr 16, 2004

East Turkestan: UNPO pledges for Uyghur Freedom, Democracy and Self-determination

UNPO General Secretary Marino Busdachin speech before the United General Assembly of the East Turkestan National Congress (trascript)

Trascript of the speech by Marino Busdachin, UNPO General Secretary, before the United General Assembly of the East Turkestan National Congress, Munchen (Germany) April 16th 2004.

Mr. President,
Distinguished Delegates;

I am honored to be here and grateful to have the opportunity to address you during today’s important Assembly on behalf of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization. I convey to you the salutation of the 55 Members of the UNPO who represent over 150 million peoples around the world.

First of all, on behalf of the UNPO, I would like to commend and thank one of the most distinctive and remarkable Uyghurs, Mr. Erkin Alpetkin, who lead the UNPO during the most critical and difficult moments in the history of the organization. I also extend my gratitude to the President of the East Turkestan National Congress, Mr. Enver Can for his strong support of the UNPO.

The continuous campaign of the Chinese government to crack down on peaceful Uyghur dissent and the continuous violations of human rights in Eastern Turkestan causing innumerable tragic incidents, consolidates the UNPO to commit to its full support of the Uyghur people in its struggle for Freedom, Democracy and the Right to Self-determination.

In the past decades, our world has witnessed a growth and welcoming commitment to democracy. We have seen a steady trend moving towards the establishment of democratic forms of government. Today, from Latin America to Africa, and from Europe to Asia, in comparison to ever before, democracy is a worldwide accepted and practiced principle.

I sincerely believe that democracy these days must be considered a fundamental human right as stated by the United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, in his report on the “ Implementation of the United Nations Millennium Declaration”. In his report he states, and I quote, “ Democracy and Human Rights, though distinct concepts, are closely interlinked.”

As I am convinced that religion – all religions - and democracy are compatible, I believe that Islam and democracy are compatible, even if history throughout the ages and across the world warns us that problems arise whenever religion is used in a manipulative manner to achieve political goals.

I want to underline the importance of the struggle of the East Turkestan people and its exercising the right to dissent, to implement their Right to Self-determination, their Right for Freedom of Religion and their Right to Democracy.

The International Community should be grateful to the Uyghurs, on the fact that the Uyghur set an example for all suppressed people in the world and should not allow the Chinese government to renew attempts to silence the voices of Uyghur activists abroad by branding their political activities as “terrorism”.

UNPO strongly pleads to the International Community to reject the requests of the Government of China to extradite Uyghur activists, even if requests are substantiated. The risk of torture and execution faced by Uyghur supporters of the Right to Self-determination in China is a clear motive to not force Uyghurs to return.

On behalf of UNPO I fully assure you the commitment of the UNPO to address these important issues to the United Nations, international organizations, the European Union and the International Community.

I also assure you that UNPO will put effort into effectively operating at the international level to influence the Chinese government with main aim the respect of elementary human rights of the Uyghur people, including its right to Self-determination and democracy.

Finally I want to underline the importance of dialogue, a dialogue of the Uyghur representatives and the Chinese authorities to decrease the rising tension in Eastern Turkestan, which currently has an adverse effect on the process for better understanding and peaceful coexistence between the Uyghurs and the Chinese.

Mr. President,
Distinguished delegates;

As I look around, observing all, I feel great admiration for your dedication and devotion, the fact that you share your thoughts, here, today and this weekend, spend time and give your all. I am more than aware of the importance of your Assembly and wish you all the strength to reach your set goals.

I thank you.