Since the occupation of Tibet by the People's Republic of China, a number of Parliamentarians have taken immense interest in and expressed sympathy for the cause of the Tibetan people. Particularly following the brutal crackdown on the peaceful public demonstrations, which rocked the Tibetan capital Lhasa and lead to Martial Law in Tibet in the late 80s, the interest and sympathies galvanized into active support with the formation of parliamentary groups for Tibet in many countries. The parliamentarians mobilized their actions for the cause of Tibet in their respective countries, which resulted in the introduction of bills and resolutions, organizing parliamentary hearings on Tibet and sensitizing the public to the issue of Tibet.
After His Holiness the Dalai Lama presented the Strasbourg Proposal in 1988 for a meaningful resolution to the Issue of Tibet, 69 parliamentarians from 25 countries met for the first time in New Delhi from 18 to 20 March 1994. Under the aegis of Mr. George Fernandes and Mr. Mohan Singh, the All Party Indian Parliamentary Forum for Tibet organized the Convention. The Convention adopted a ten-point action plan, which called on parliamentarians to prevail upon their governments on the Issue of Tibet and the rights of its people, to form all party parliamentary groups for Tibet in their respective parliaments and to create an international network of parliamentarians to coordinate activities on the Tibetan Issue.
So far four World Parliamentarians' Conventions have been held and all have contributed enormously in increasing the network of Tibet supporters and have had a powerful impact on the national and international lobby efforts.
Objectives of Holding the World Parliamentarians' Convention on Tibet
- To discuss, share information, review current developments and strategies, in order to devise a detailed plan of action to promote the cause of Tibet through a unified network of Parliamentarians for Tibet.
- To promote meaningful and unconditional negotiation between his Holiness the Dalai Lama or his representatives with the People's Republic of China.
- To promote nonviolence as a means of conflict resolution.