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New Zealand, Australia and Canada Raise Tibet  Issue at U-N Debate - 2003-11-19

New Zealand, Australia and Canada raised the issue of Tibet at the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly last week. New Zealand's Ambassador Don Mackay said that his country continues to urge China to expand dialogue with the Dalai Lama and to bring about a greater participation by the Tibetan people in decisions regarding their development. New Zealand made a similar appeal at the 59th session of the UN Commission on Human Rights earlier this year.

Ambassador Gilbert Laurin of Canada while referring to the human rights situation in Tibet and China at the Third Committee said that the rule of law and judicial process are key to the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms. He said that Canada is concerned about the inappropriate use of the judicial procedures to restrict labor unions, and freedom of expression, spiritual expression, especially in Tibet and Xinjiang.

The Australian representative welcomed China's willingness to acknowledge shortcomings in its human rights practices and its frank approach to their bilateral human rights dialogue. He welcomed the Chinese ambassador who said that there was still room for improvement in the promotion and protection of human rights in China.