20 YEARS OF PROMOTING NONVIOLENCE, HUMAN RIGHTS AND SELF-DETERMINATION

THE UNREPRESENTED NATIONS AND PEOPLES ORGANIZATION
THE HAGUE, THE NETHERLANDS 11 FEBRUARY 1991—11 FEBRUARY 2011

UNPO 20TH ANNIVERSARY PUBLICATION
11 FEBRUARY 2011

TABLE OF CONTENTS

MESSAGE FROM UNPO GENERAL SECRETARY MR. MARINO BUSDACHIN . . . 3 MESSAGE FROM UNPO PRESIDENT MR. NGAWANG CHOEPHEL . . . 4 MESSAGE FROM FIRST UNPO GENERAL SECRETARY, MR. MICHAEL VAN WALT VAN PRAAG . . . 5 ABOUT UNPO: A VISION FOR PEACE, HUMAN RIGHTS AND SELF-DETERMINATION . . . 6 UNPO TIMELINE . . . 12 A MESSAGE FROM MR. ERKIN ALPTEKIN, FORMER UNPO PRESIDENT . . . 15 UNPO MEMBER MAP . . . 16 UNPO ACTIVITIES . . . 18 MESSAGE FROM MR. LODI G. GYARI, SPECIAL ENVOY TO H.H. THE DALAI LAMA . . . 23 SUCCESS STORIES: UNPO MEMBERS BUILDING PEACE AND GAINING PROMINENCE . . . 24 THE CHALLENGES AHEAD . . . 26 MESSAGE FROM HIS HOLINESS THE DALAI LAMA . . . 27 MESSAGE FROM FORMER UNPO PRESIDENT MR. LEDUM MITEE . . . 28 MESSAGE FROM FORMER UNPO PRESIDENTAND CURRENT VICE PRESIDENT OF ZANZIBAR, MR. SEIF SHARIF HAMAD . . . 29 OUR SUPPORTERS . . . 31

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UNPO 20TH ANNIVERSARY

A MESSAGE FROM UNPO GENERAL SECRETARY, MR. MARINO BUSDACHIN
UNPO is undoubtedly one of the most original and articulate organizations around the world. Its mere existence has been a challenge. But others have repeatedly underlined the serious need for an organisation such as UNPO in today’s world. During the time of its twenty years of existence, UNPO has faced one of the most cruel and violent periods of recent history. Genocide and terrorism became the central point of the International community of States and of the United Nations – they became a routine part of life. Questions regarding the implementation of the UN Charter; from respect for human rights to the right of self-determination never arise at the top of the UN agenda nor have any regulated guidelines for the major powers and States been established. Despite this dramatic and unfavorable scenario UNPO has not been overcome by adverse conditions but, time by time it is becoming a success story. The UNPO story has always been inspired by the political lives of Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Ken Saro-Wiva (executed while UNPO vice President), and by HH the Dalai Lama who is honoring UNPO with an important message for our forthcoming 20th anniversary. There is a long line of Presidents and General Secretaries that have run the organisation; some Members reached their goals while many others are still suffering severe oppression; all of them contributed at the best to UNPO. Partners like International Campaign for Tibet, Taiwan Foundation for Democracy and the Nonviolent Radical Party help UNPO in its more critical moments. UNPO is no longer the organisation established in 1991. Its evolution has been marked by the relevant reforms adopted in 2006 in Taipei with a new Covenant. A new vision of the goals of UNPO has been set for the new millennium to affirm democracy as a fundamental human right, to implement human, civil and political rights at all levels and everywhere; to affirm the right of autonomy, federalism and selfdetermination in any country; to advance non-violent methodology as a real alternative to a violent and unfair world. What has been done is a lot, but very little in face of the reasons and aspirations that led to the UNPO’s foundation. Our vision obliges us to exist; our members see UNPO as a major need. But only commitment and determination will consent to give life to our dreams and to be for real in the needs of the oppressed peoples.

Marino Busdachin UNPO General Secretary

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A MESSAGE FROM UNPO PRESIDENT MR. NGAWANG CHOEPHEL
On behalf of the entire UNPO Membership, I wish to congratulate all concerned on the celebrations of the 20th Anniversary of the organization which is an achievement of the unrepresentation Nations and Peoples we represent, especially at time when the geopolitics of the world has changed dramatically when the great vision of UNPO was spearhead by the Founding Fathers in 1991. During these past 20 years, UNPO contributed towards the realization of political solutions to many Members, including Aceh, Bouganville, East Timor, Kosovo, Abkhazia and Zanzibar and at the same time alert the world about new situations like that of Somaliland, Khmer Krom, Hmong and Montagnard peoples. UNPO Presidency believes that a responsible and substantive contribution by Members to uphold the core principles our organization can make UNPO more effective in achieving an end to gross and systematic violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms inflicted upon our peoples, including the denial of right to autonomy and self-determination. UNPO Presidency also believes that we have to now look to the future success of our unique family in the next decade by further bridging a closer relationship amongst our Members so that we all have the complete understanding of each other's freedom struggles that will strengthen UNPO's global network. On behalf of UNPO Members, on this occasion of the 20th Anniversary we once again pledge to the world of our total commitment to the principles of non-violence, human rights, self-determination, reconciliation and environment. Happy 20th Anniversary

Ngawang Choephel UNPO President

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UNPO 20TH ANNIVERSARY

A MESSAGE FROM FIRST GENERAL SECRETARY OF UNPO, MR. MICHAEL VAN WALT VAN PRAAG
As UNPO was being created in an undisclosed location across from the KGB headquarters in Tartu, Estonia in a series of secret meetings in 1989 and 1990, only very few people understood that the world was on the verge of monumental changes. By the time UNPO was officially inaugurated at the Peace Palace in the Hague the breakup of the Soviet Union was imminent, and with it the prospect of freedom for many captive peoples. They were exciting times, and UNPO was in the middle of the changes that swept across the world. Over the past 20 years many of UNPO’s members have gained independence and others have achieved new degrees of self‐government, of democracy, or human rights that have greatly im‐ proved the people’s lives and in some cases satisfied their current political needs. Others are involved in peace and negotiation processes to achieve greater freedom for their peoples, while others are making progress within the political systems they form a part of. Despite this undeniable progress, too many peoples and minorities are still unrecognised and their rights denied in all parts of the world. Many are immersed in painful conflicts the world pays little attention to. UNPO’s mission ‐‐to be the platform of he unrepresented nations and peoples of the world and to promote the democratic and self‐determination rights of all its member peoples through non‐ violent means—is more crucial than ever. This is especially true as we find ourselves in a more polarised and more violent world once again. The enormous hope we experienced for positive change in the 1990’s has been replaced by a climate of fear, intolerance, big‐power competition and hostility. One consequence is the increased repression inflicted upon many peoples under the guise of combating terrorism. Another is the destruction of the way of life of indigenous and other peoples in the race for the extraction of the remaining mineral, carbohydrate and forest resources of our planet. UNPO’s task is not an easy one. I wish to take this opportunity to con‐ gratulate the Presidency of UNPO, its General Secretary and the Secretariat staff, as well as all of the organisation’s Members for the tremendous work you are undertaking and the impact you are making in the world. It is my fervent hope that the dreams and aspirations that led to the creation of UNPO will some day become reality, so that the organisation may no longer be needed. Inshallah!

Michael van Walt van Praag

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ABOUT UNPO
A VISION FOR PEACE, HUMAN RIGHTS AND SELF-DETERMINATION

On 11 February 1991, representatives of 15 nations and peoples

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came together at the seat of interna-

tional law, the Peace Palace in The Hague, with a revolutionary idea. Representing occupied nations, indigenous peoples, minorities and other vulnerable or disenfranchised populations, their aim was to create an international forum where unrepresented nations and peoples could air their legitimate grievances. In pursuit of peace for their peoples and respect for human rights, these representatives joined together on the steps of the International Court of Justice in a pact for world peace. The result of this meeting was the establishment of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO), a body

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UNPO 20TH ANNIVERSARY

whose existence is as crucial today as it was twenty years ago. The UNPO members meeting at The Hague served as the first general assembly of members, drafting and agreeing to the covenant that serves as the organization’s founding char‐ ter. This treaty binds Members together in an agreement to work for human rights for all peoples, in recognition of the interconnected nature of their struggles. It also offers an avenue of hope, suggesting specific paths for peace. The covenant contains five core principals which all Members must vow to uphold: 1) the equal right to self-determination of all nations and peoples; 2) adherence to the internationally accepted human rights standards as laid down in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international instruments; 3) adherence to the principles of democratic pluralism and rejection of totalitarianism and religious intolerance; 4) promotion of nonviolence and the rejection of terrorism as an instrument of policy; and 5) protection of the natural environment. The founders of UNPO were engaged in a common struggle to preserve their cultural identities, protect the basic human rights of their peoples and advocate for a rights-based approach to international relations. A significant aspiration of these representatives was to regain recognition for their peoples as active participants in global politics. Too often, their peoples faced extermination at the hands of colonizing powers and invisibility in international institutions. Rather than accepting this fate, UNPO members banded together to secure the right of self-determination for all peoples. As noted in its covenant, UNPO is not an organization for unrepresented peoples; it is an organization of these peoples, serving as a forum for sharing experiences and developing nonviolent strategies for addressing their problems.

THE CONTEXT
UNPO’s entrance into the interna‐ tional arena occurred at an imporFounding Members of UNPO, February 1991 tant moment in history. Reporter Sarah Lambert observed that “[t]he roll-call of founding Members embraces most of the world’s flash‐ points and conjures up powerful images of peoples that one thought belonged to another era.” 2 The idea of UNPO was a significant step in the dawn of the post-Cold War period. Indeed, the establishment of
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UNPO occurred as part of an emerging global human rights movement which followed the end of the Cold War. As journalist Frank Viviano noted, “[t]he trend is being encouraged not only by widening access to the media but also by the end of the Cold War, which has made it easier for national groups to assert themselves and for outsiders to take up their cause without being accused of furtherUNPO Members with flags at 1995 General Assembly ing the interests of rival power or threatening the security of the host state. The end of the ideological rigidity is also creating a climate in which there can be more sympathy for political, religious and cultural diversity.”3 Even before the founders came together in The Hague to sign the covenant, UNPO attracted global attention and gained recognition as a groundbreaking parallel political experiment in global governance. One headline, a week before signing of the covenant, read, “Unrepresented Peoples Plan to Set Up Alternative U.N.”4 The UNPO membership wanted to assure the world that it wasn’t creating a coalition to incite fur‐ ther conflict. The aim of UNPO’s Members is to be included in the family of nations as equals, not as a competing entity. As drafted in the preamble, the organization is not intended to create an alliance of participating Nations and Peoples against established States or against any individual State or groups of States. Rather, as Menelzos Tzelios, a founding Member, said, “This organization gives us and many other nations and peoples a chance to express our feelings, to voice our concerns. Other international organizations are not open to us. This gives us hope.”5 Two decades later, a steady stream of indigenous, minority and unrecognized peoples continues to approach UNPO for membership. Founded by just fifteen groups, the organization has experienced astounding growth in its last twenty years and currently boasts 53 official Members. After more than two decades worth of work in world politics, UNPO has seen a number of successes. Since the founding of UNPO, six Members have been admitted to the UN: Estonia, Latvia, Armenia, Georgia, Palau and East Timor (Timor-Leste). Nevertheless, the initial purpose of UNPO remains, as evidenced by the significant and continuous growth in groups seeking representation through UNPO membership. This growth clearly demonstrates the real need being fulfilled by the organization. The driving force for the UNPO existence is summarized by its founding General Secretary, “I find it abso‐ lutely unbelievable that people like Tibetans, the Kurds and the elected leaders of Burma are not included in international discussions about their own fates. Each nation should have the right to decide its own destiny and to manage its own environment.”6

PROMOTING NONVIOLENCE AND SELF-DETERMINATION One of the principal objectives of UNPO is the prevention of violence and the peaceful resolution of disputes. UNPO employs a number of methods, both direct and indirect, to achieve this goal. One of UNPO’s methods for the prevention of disputes is the use of its unique early warning capabilities.
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UNPO 20TH ANNIVERSARY

A MESSAGE FROM MR. HARRY VAN BOMMEL, MEMBER OF THE DUTCH PARLIAMENT FOR THE SOCIALIST PARTY
UNPO provides the necessary assistance to peoples without a voice in international organizations as the UN and the EU. In my parliamentary activities I closely work together with UNPO to serve the interests of these peoples. The Kurds, the Uyghurs, the Tibetans, the Palestinians and all the other unrepresented peoples find their ways to UNPO and through UNPO they can be heard. Their fundamental freedoms are often neglected in their country of origin. I see it as my mission to support their struggle for freedom and respect. Human rights are universal and the UN Declaration of Human Rights provides a solid basis fort his struggle. Together with UNPO I wish to promote these rights wherever and whenever needed. Harry van Bommel, MP for the Socialist Party in the Netherlands UNPO works with Members to identify instances of increased imbalance in an area and reduce the possibility of violence through preventive practices and diplomatic efforts. UNPO is a grassroots organization, maintaining close contact with Members who have direct lines of communication with the peoples they represent. This allows UNPO to gather timely and vital information about emerging conflicts. It is also a global movement, sending this vital information to capitols and centers for conflict resolution. Recognizing the importance of open and direct communication in preventive diplomacy, UNPO facilitates meetings between its Members and representatives of state governments, international organizations, NGOs and the media. This early warning and action system allows for timely global action, supplementing international bodies that lack either the strength or the speed necessary to anticipate and act on crises in a timely manner. Chechnya, Ogoni (Nigeria), East Timor, Kosova and Aceh are just a few examples in which UNPO has sounded an early warning prior to the outbreak of severe violence and loss of life. Unfortunately, UNPO’s warnings have often gone unheeded by the international community, which continues to give very little weight to the legitimate grievances expressed by such nations and peoples. In support of this early warning and action program, UNPO undertakes field missions to regions of conflict. Such missions provide important third party mediation and support to conflict resolution mechanisms, promoting de-escalation of emerging conflicts while advocating for changes in the context that produced the conflict. Such changes include the democratization of governance and the respect for human rights. UNPO’s field work sup‐ plements and supports efforts by international NGOs and the UN, and provides assistance to indigenous, minority and unrecognized peoples from election monitoring to mediation between segments of society.

UNPO Mission to Hawaii, 1996

In addition to directly acting to quell potential and ongoing outbreaks of violence, UNPO offers alternative paths for Members to secure fundamental freedoms. UNPO offers training and support for nonviolent methods of activism. Where these nonviolent struggles are met with violent repression, UNPO serves as a witness and advocate, protecting vulnerable peoples by bringing these instances to the attention of the international community and bringing international pressure to bear on the offending parties.
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The promotion of the concept of selfdetermination is another important part of UNPO’s work for peace. While international law recognizes the right of nations to freely determine their own form of governance and political representation, this legal principle is silent on what constitutes a nation, and how nations should go about making such decisions. While the concept of selfdetermination has been inconsistently and ambiguously interpreted within the realm of international power politics and international Ogoni protest in the Niger Delta, November 2007 law,7 UNPO asserts that all peoples have the right to self-determination, and that only through the recognition of this right can stability be established. As noted by scholars, “unresolved disputes over self-determination have formed the basis for the vast majority of violent conflicts in the world since 1945.” 8 Indeed, civil conflict accounted for all but three of the wars that broke out in the twelve year period beginning in 1990, and accounted for 90 percent of civilian and combatant battle deaths during this period.9 When Mr. van Walt van Praag became the first foreigner to be granted a visa to Estonia as an independent nation, he commented on the cause of conflict and the possible remedies for peace, arguing that instability is not a result of movements for freedom but rather the long periods of oppression which the people involved in such movements have faced. Stability requires that individual nations and peoples be allowed to develop varying forms of self-determination. When such voluntary processes are denied, instability is introduced. UNPO strongly believes that lasting stability is only possible where equality, free choice and mutual benefit underlie the relations among the world’s peoples. Mr. van Walt van Praag sums up this view with the following statement: We must move away from the misguided view of stability premised on immediate or short-term economic and political considerations to a long-term perspective which will ensure the peaceful co-existence of all peoples. Universal recognition and support for peoples right to self-determination is the cornerstone of a truly peaceful and stable world.10 Contrary to popular perception, self-determination does not necessarily imply secession, separate nationhood, or even autonomy; this term simply refers to the right of all peoples to freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development. The exercise of this right can result in a variety of outcomes, ranging from political independence to full integration within an existing state. Since 1991 the non-violent methods by which UNPO achieves its goals have been recognized throughout the world. UNPO has been awarded the 1991 Tolerance Award, 1992 Social Innovation Award (The Body

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UNPO 20TH ANNIVERSARY

Shop), 1998 Petra Kelly Peace Award (Heinrich Böll Foundation) and nominated for 1993 Nobel Peace Prize and 1994 Right Livelihood Award.

HOW UNPO WORKS
UNPO provides an avenue for advocacy at the international level for nations and peoples that have been excluded, and in extreme cases exterminated, through centuries of slave labor and state-sanctioned legislation. UNPO provides services to assist Members at the UN and regional mechanisms. It also provides conflict resolution services, assistance and advocacy in strategic planning for peace and justice efforts, election and referendum monitoring in democracy building, as well as trainings which enhance empowerment and allow for cultural preservation and promotion through capacity building. UNPO builds on this important element of indigenous advocacy through training programs in diplomacy, legal activism and continued consultation and advice, human rights protection and promotion, democratic principles and practice, media relations and nonviolence skills and strategies. The skills developed and strategies designed in such trainings are applied to advocacy through international mechanisms. UNPO Members, with the assistance and support provided by UNPO, engage in the vast and complex processes of the United Nations. Through these and other efforts, Members develop the diplomatic and negotiation skills necessary to navigate among the intricate international political balances. As a core channel of communication between the peoples in their communities and global civil society, the UNPO secretariat aims to keep international organizations, governments, NGOs and the media informed, providing a unique perspective to the global discussion. UNPO serves as catalyst among parties involved in seeking solutions to conflicts, and is also involved on the ground, serving as an intermediary between parties in conflict. The organization is uniquely capable of carrying out this role, as “it has the trust and confidence of its Member nations and peoples and at the same time it enjoys a level of recognition in the international community which provides access to expertise and credibility.”11
Notes:
(1) Present at this founding meeting were representatives from Tibet, Taiwan, Kurdistan, East Turkestan, Latvia, Tatarstan, Palau (Belau), Australian Aboriginals, Cordillera, West Papua, Estonia, Armenia, Georgia, the Greek Minority in Albania and the Crimean Tatars. Sarah Lambert, “World’s minorities seek a voice,” The Independent, 7 August 1991, p. 16. Frank Viviano, “World’s Wannabe Nations Sound Off,” San Francisco Chronicle, 31 January 1995, p. A6. “Unrepresented Peoples Plan to Set Up Alternative U.N.”, The Wall Street Journal Europe, February 5, 1991. George de Lama, “Stateless peoples seek to state their cause,” Chicago Tribune, 14 February, 1993, p. 23 Jeff Greenwald, “Getting the World to Listen,” Los Angeles Times, 23 April 1992, p. E1, E6. FitzGerald, Valpy, Frances Stewart and Rajesh Venugopal (2006). Globalization, Self-Determination and Violent Conflict Palgrave Macmillan. 2006, Hampshire. p. 3. FitzGerald, Valpy, Frances Stewart and Rajesh Venugopal (2006). Globalization, Self-Determination and Violent Conflict Palgrave Macmillan. 2006, Hampshire. p. 6. Lacina, Bethany (2006). “Explaining the Severity of Civil Wars” Journal of Conflict Resolution. Vol. 50 No. 2, pp. 276 – 289. p. 276. The Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization, Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization: The First Decade, (The Netherlands: Drukkerij Brummelkamp, 2001), p. 9. The Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization, Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization: The First Decade, (The Netherlands: Drukkerij Brummelkamp, 2001), p. 7.

(2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (10) (11)

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UNPO TIMELINE
1991: 1992: 1993: June. UNPO Founding Assembly and Second General Assembly. Mission to Kosova Mission to Abkhazia, Georgia and the Northern Caucuses Third General Assembly, The Hague. Mission to Abkhazia and Georgian Report on the Human Rights Situation in the Cordillera, the Philippines, Report on the National and Human Rights Situation of the Albanians in Kosova 1994: Report on Trial of Leaders of Greek Minority in Albanian Mission to Greek Minority in Albanian Mission to Taiwan Fourth General Assembly, The Hague. Report on Yakutsk, Sakha Republic Report on Republic of Ingushetia and Chechen Republic of Ichkeria Mission to Rwanda (Batwa) Mission to Ogoniland Mission to Zanzibar Mission to Abkhazia/Georgia Mission to the Sakha Republic (Yakutia) Mission to Sanjak Mission to Hawai’i Fifth General Assembly, Otteppaa, Estonia. Mission to Chechen Republic Ichkeria for Presidential & Primary Elections Mission to Tibet Report on Peace Action Council Mission to Tanzania Sixth General Assembly (Extraordinary Session), Geneva, Switzerland. Barcelona UNESCO Conference, ‘The Implementation of the Right to SelfDetermination as a Contribution to Conflict Prevention’ Universal Declaration on the Rights of People drafted after three meetings; adopted at the Seventh GA. Ten Years of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization and the Rights of Peoples; conference organized in Tallinn, Estonia Seventh General Assembly, Tallinn, Estonia. Report on Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan and Magistrate Elections Round Table Discussion on the Decolonization held at Secretariat office with the participation of ten UNPO Members UN Working Group on Indigenous Populations, 21st Session UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, 3rd Session UN Working Group on Indigenous Populations, 22nd Session
UNPO 20TH ANNIVERSARY Chechnya mission 1995 The late Ken Saro Wiwa Second General Assembly 1991

1995:

Batwa mission 1995

1996:

1997:

1998:

1999:

2000:

2001:

2002:

2003: 2004:
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Tibet Mission 1997

2005:

Nonviolence sculpture at UN

UN Commission on Human Rights, 61st Session UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, 4th Session, Seventh General Assembly, The Hague, the Netherlands UN Working Group on Indigenous Populations, 23rd Session Election Monitoring Mission to Zanzibar Conference on “Peace, Stability and Security in East Asia: The Question of China – Taiwan”, The Hague, the Netherlands UN Commission on Human Rights, 62nd Session UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, 5th Session UN Working Group on Indigenous Populations, 24th Session UN Human Rights Council, 1st Session Eight General Assembly, Taipei, Taiwan UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, 6th Session UN Human Rights Council, 5th Session Democracy and Human Rights: Leadership Seminar for Uyghurs International Day of Non-Violence Iraqi Turkmen: The Human Rights Situation and Crisis in Kerkuk, European Parliament UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, 7th Session UN Human Rights Council, 8th Session Speak Out! Human Rights Training, Belgium and the Netherlands De Facto States Conference, European Parliament Kerkuk Problem and Article 140:Defining Alternatives, European Par liament Population Transfer: The Baltic States and the Tibetan Experience, Estonia Uyghur Leadership Training Seminar, Berlin Earth Exploitation and Survival Campaign Iraqi Provincial Elections Observation Mission, Iraq Human Rights and the Question of Democratization and Federalism in Iran, European Parliament, Brussels Peace & Security and the de facto State Conference, European Parlia ment East Turkestan: 60 Years Under the PRC, Washington UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, 7th Session Promoting a Culture of Non-Violence with Mr. Arun Gandhi, The Hague 5th Session of the UPR Working Group, UN Human Rights Council, large demonstration outside UN with Khmer-Krom. Balochistan Side Event at 11th Session of the UN Human Rights Coun cil Liberation from the Legacy of Colonialism: An Indigenous Voice for Self-Determination in Asia-Pacific, Khmer Krom Conference, Paris Uyghur Delegation Meeting at the European Parliament following July 5 unrest in Urumqi, Brussels Kurdistan Election Monitoring Mission World Uyghur Congress Hearing in the European Parliament
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2006:

Maasai at UNPFII 2006

2007:

2008:

Khmer Krom March 2006

2009:

Khmer Krom Rally

Palais des Nations, Geneva, 2010

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Visit to Mapucheland, Chile 2nd session of the Forum on Minority Issues 5th Parliamentary Assembly on Tibet, Rome International Day of Human Rights event,Manifesto Presented to Dutch Parliament, The Hague Tibet: Autonomy v Independence’ Turin, Italy Rebiya Kadeer visit to the Netherlands 2010: Visit to Ogoniland, Human Rights Training and Fielf Visits, Nigeria 8th Presidency, Rome. Conference on the principle of non-refoulement 7th Session of the Working Group on the UPR – Iran under review. Lobbying Mission and parallel event 76th session on the Convention for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, Cambodia Conference on human rights in Pakistan, demonstration, UN, Geneva Conference on Dialogue in the Situation of Human Rights of Minorities in South Asia, UN, Geneva Interventions during the 13th Session of the Human Rights Council Hearing on Human Rights in Ogaden, European Parliament, Brussels Crimean Tatar European Parliament Conference Movies That Matter Film Festival- Rebiya Kadeer in the Netherlands United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues New York, USA Khmer Krom youth conference, Philadelphia Uyghur Training and Conference, European Parliament, Brussels Conference: Democratic Movement in Iran: Pitfalls and Potential, Italian Parliament, Rome Hearing at the Italian Senate on minorities in Iran, Rome Speak Out! Indigenous Voices, Human Rights Training for Youth, The Hague UNPO Training on Human Rights and Activism for Degar-Montagnard Members, South Carolina, USA UNPO “Digital Democracy” Side Event at 15h Session of UN Human Rights Council, UN, Geneva CEDAW Pre-Sessional Working Group: Ethiopia, UN, Geneva CAT review of Ethiopia, UN, Geneva Gilgit-Baltistan Conference, European Parliament, Brussels 15th Anniversary of the Execution of former UNPO Vice Chair, Ken Saro Wiwa, public event and commemorative concert The Hague,. Working visit to investigate situation of the Batwa, Rwanda UNPO Delegation to the UN Forum on Minority Issues, Geneva 2011: Visit to Mapucheland, Chile Rebiya Kadeer visit to Europe; meetings in Dutch and European Parliaments 10th Session of the UPR Working Group, Rwanda Kashgar conference, European Parliament, Brussels

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: THE DALAI LAMA VISITS UNPO IN THE HAGUE (2009); NNEKA PERFORMS AT A 2010 MEMORIAL CONCERT COMMEMORATING THE DEATH OF KEN SARO WIWA; 2010 UNPO MISSION TO BATWA (RWANDA)

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UNPO 20TH ANNIVERSARY

A MESSAGE FROM MR. ERKIN ALPTEKIN, FORMER UNPO GENERAL SECRETARY
As a Uyghur from East Turkestan, I was thrilled when the idea was put forward to create an organization uniting peoples and nations not represented in the United Nations during a conference held in London in 1990. This idea led to the foundation of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) in 1991. Our goal was to offer a platform to those peoples that do not have the opportunity to be part of the established international organizations. It is estimated that there are 6,500 peoples and ethnic groups in the world of which less than 200 are represented in the United Nations. Hence the necessity of providing marginalized peoples with a framework enabling them to help each other. UNPO gives a voice to those who otherwise would never have one. Some of our Members want full recognition in the form of a sovereign and independent state. Others merely wish respect for their fundamental rights, especially in the cultural domain. It is the spirit of mutual respect, where no one group tries to impose its objectives on the others, that allows peoples to coexist within UNPO. UNPO is, above all, a platform that each of us use to promote our issues. We share the same pillow, even though we have different dreams. Our Members adhere to non-violence, respect for human rights, self-determination and democracy, and mutual tolerance. The criteria of non-violence may seem in contradiction with the reality that some of our Members were engaged in an armed struggle. This is often purely in self-defense, in order to survive as a people. I think our position can be summarized as follows: violence is unacceptable as long as there are ways of making ourselves heard. Wherever the possibility exists, peoples should reaffirm their existence and pursue their objectives through peaceful ways of expression. In its 20th year of existence, UNPO has accomplished much: the voices of more than 70 peoples are now heard. International recognition of UNPO as a legitimate forum where peoples can address problems and open dialogue with governments is growing. However, many challenges still lie ahead of us. Everywhere states are intensifying their politics of oppression, cultural assimilation and economic exploitation by force. Perhaps the greatest threat to us unrepresented peoples is the loss of our identity. We all have different dreams but our primary mutual objective is to see our own culture and uniqueness flourish in our homelands. This wish is the same for Uyghurs, Tibetans and the Inner Mongols, for the Mapuche of Chile, the Australian Aboriginals, the Batwa of Rwanda and the Chechen people in Russia. As one of the forefathers of the idea of UNPO, its former vice chairman and former interim General Secretary, I would like to reiterate my commitment to our organization. I am sure that UNPO will lead us into a new and brighter millennium and will continue to strive for peaceful realization of our dreams.

Erkin Alptekin

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WORLD MAP OF UNPO MEMBERS (AS OF FEBURARY 2011)

ABKHAZIA ABORIGINALS OF AUSTRALIA AFRIKANER AHWAZ ASSYRIA BALOCHISTAN BATWA BURMA BURYATIA CABINDA CHIN CHITTAGONG HILL TRACTS CIRCASSIA CORDILLERA CRIMEAN TATARS DEGAR-MONTAGNARDS EAST TURKESTAN GILGIT BALTISTAN GREEK MINORITY IN ALBANIA HMONG CHAOFA HUNGARIANS IN ROMANIA INNER MONGOLIA IRANIAN KURDISTAN IRAQI KURDISTAN IRAQI TURKMEN KA LAHUI HAWAI’I KARENNI

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UNPO 20TH ANNIVERSARY

KHMER KROM KOSOVA MAASAI MAPUCHE MON MORO NAGALIM OGADEN OGONI OROMO REHOBOTH BASTERS SANJAK SCANIA SINDH SOMALILAND SOUTHERN AZERBAIJAN SOUTHERN CAMEROONS SOUTH MOLUCCAS TAIWAN TIBET TSIMSHIAN TUVA UDMURT VHAVENDA WEST BALOCHISTAN ZANZIBAR

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UNPO ACTIVITIES
UNPO AT THE UNITED NATIONS
Drawing attention to issues affecting marginalized groups at the United Nations has been a central focus of UNPO’s work over the past 20 years. The aim of the organization is to ensure that UNPO Members are able to effectively access and take part in discussions within the international bodies mandated to protect their rights. Members have participated in various sessions of the Human Rights Council, the Permanent UN Forum on Minority Issues and the UN Permanent Forum for Indigenous Issues. UNPO has also continued to contribute to the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process, an initiative launched in 2008 to review the human rights records of UN Member States, both in terms of submitting reports and attending sessions. Expanding its work to consider Treaty Body mechanisms, UNPO has also participated in the Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the Committee for the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, the Committee Against Torture and the Human Rights Committee. Over the past two decades UNPO has vastly increased its capacity to help facilitate discussion on minority issues in international arenas.

UNPO representatives in front of the Palais des Nations, headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva

UNIVERSAL PERIODIC REVIEW PROCESS The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a state‐driven process involving the review of the human rights records of all 192 UN Member States once every four years. UNPO has been contributing to the UPR since its inception, having previously submitted reports to be considered as part of the reviews of Argentina, Bangladesh, Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, Cameroon, Chile, China, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Iran, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Romania, Rwanda, South Africa, Ukraine and Vietnam to be considered for several States’ Joint Stakeholders Reports; which con‐ tains the collective contributions from non‐governmental organizations on human rights concerns
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UNPO 20TH ANNIVERSARY

and is presented to the State Under Review. UNPO also attended sessions to advocate for these issues to be included on the agenda. UNPO is frequently and increasingly cited in UPR reports, demonstrating not only a marked improvement in UNPO’s capacity and influence, but also the value of the information brought to light by UNPO. UNPO also arranges for Members to attend the sessions, allowing them to observe the process and draw attention to important issues. UN PERMANENT FORUM ON INDIGENOUS ISSUES The UNPFII is an advisory body to the Economic and Social Council that meets annually for two weeks in New York to discuss indigenous issues related to economic and social development, culture and human rights. UNPO assists its Members in taking advantage of this important and rare opportunity for indigenous groups to directly address the United Nations and its member states, and make their voices heard at the highest levels of the international system. HUMAN RIGHTS TREATY BODIES

Above: Room XX at the Palais des Nations Below: Representing Iranian Kurdistan, Mr. Loghman Ahmedi makes a statement to the UN Forum on Minority Issues

The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) coordinates nine human rights treaty bodies which monitor the implementation of the core international human rights treaties by signatory states. These include the Committee on Economic Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR), the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD), the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the Committee Against Torture (CAT) & Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture (OPCAT), and the Committee on Enforced Disappearance (CED), which entered into force in 2010. UNPO is actively engaged with the work of many of these treaty bodies as it relates to UNPO Members. This engagement includes the submission of detailed reports prior to the meetings of the committees, the coordination of delegations of UNPO staff and Member representatives to give testimony at the committee meetings, and monitoring and follow-up on countries’ implementation of recommendations issued by the com‐ mittees. This work has been highly successful in recent years, gaining increasing recognition by the committee members, and as a result, greater influence in the work of the committees and their resulting recommendations. UN FORUM ON MINORITY ISSUES The Forum on Minority Issues was established to provide a platform for promoting dialogue and cooperation on issues pertaining to national, ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities. It also proFEBRUARY | 2011

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vides thematic input into the work of the Independent Expert on Minority Issues. The first session of the Forum was convened in 2008; since that time, UNPO has coordinated two large delegations of Member representatives to the Forum. These delegations were both highly successful in facilitating the participation of UNPO Members and building stronger connections with external communities of minority groups, advocates, experts and United Nations officials.

UNPO DEMOCRACY AND GOOD GOVERNANCE PROGRAM
Democracy is a central tenet of UNPO’s work. In support of this tenet, UNPO engages in election monitor‐ ing missions where appropriate. The documentation produced by these missions as well as its dissemination on an international scale strengthens democracy and good governance in the states involved. One of UNPO’s first missions sent representatives to Abkhazia, Georgia and the Northern Caucasus to investi‐ gate the ongoing conflict in the region. One of the major aims of the mission was to research possible mediation and negotiation strategies involving the major parties. The mission met with elected officials, diplomats, international humanitarian agencies, NGOs and victims of the violence, and it recorded widespread violations of human rights from both sides. UNPO called for major parties to begin negotiating a ceasefire, and for the newly appointed OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities to make an official visit to the region. More recently, UNPO undertook an election-monitoring mission in Iraqi Kurdistan. This mission was intended to examine the conduct of the 25 July 2009 parliamentary and presidential elections in the region's Erbil Governorate. UNPO issued a number of recommendations based on its observations during the mission, including calls for improved voter education, better training for electoral staff, encouragement of independent media coverage and support for civil society engagement.

UNPO AT THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT
An expanding and dynamic European Union has increasingly become a forum within which issues affecting UNPO Members are debated and where their presence and visibility has consequently become of great importance. UNPO has dedicated considerable efforts to working with an expanding network of partners within the European Parliament, ensuring that UNPO Members are able to make efficient and effective use of its political instruments. UNPO Members are increasingly included in relevant high‐level hearings, panels and conferences, and UNPO has arranged a number of meetings between MEPs and Member representatives. The UNPO Secretariat has also been able to monitor and react to positions of the European Parliament as never before, lobbying for the inclusion of Member issues in resolutions, reports and circulated letters, and promoting this through an expanding international media network.

UNPO IN THE NETHERLANDS
Founded at the Peace Palace in The Hague, UNPO has always had close ties to the Netherlands and the Municipality of The Hague. The city is the international home of peace and justice – themes which underpin the ethos of UNPO. A base in the Netherlands allows UNPO to make strong international links, connecting those suffering the consequences of exclusion and exploitation with appropriate mechanisms under which these issues can be addressed. UNPO maintains a close relationship with the Dutch Parliament as well as the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Dutch government is often a leader in foreign
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UNPO 20TH ANNIVERSARY

policy related to human rights and situations of armed conflict. UNPO Members are provided with an opportunity to provide their input into debates made by representatives of the Dutch government, informing Dutch decision-making and raising the profile of UNPO Members.

INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCES
Michael van Walt van Praag makes a statement at a public event in The Hague honoring the life of Ogoni activist and former UNPO Vice President Ken Saro Wiwa

UNPO organizes and takes part in conferences around the globe. Such events are an important element of UNPO’s work. Conferences allow UNPO Members to share their knowledge and insight into their regions. The knowledge brought into and generated by conferences also plays an important role in guiding the work of UNPO. Many conferences take place in aptly chosen locations such as national parliaments where other lobbying activities and briefings can take place.

DEMONSTRATIONS AND EVENTS
UNPO regularly organizes and hosts demonstrations and events by Member groups and associations of Member groups; the aim of these programs is to increase awareness and visibility of its Members and their issues. Target groups of these events include the general public, local and international media and influential public officials.

Conference on Iran, Italian Parliament, Rome

OUTREACH AND APPEALS
UNPO has made significant advancements over the past 20 years in improving its visibility as well as its communication with Members and interested parties. UNPO is constantly seeking contacts within the fields of journalism and advocacy, and has made a number of advancements in this regard. UNPO aims to improve the presence of its Members in the news media; this is accomplished through the submission of op-eds and letters to major newspapers, as well as cultivating a reputation
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Uyghur demonstration in The Hague, 2010

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as a reliable source of first-hand knowledge and information for journalists and policy-makers. UNPO reacts quickly to news affecting Members by issuing urgent appeals, campaigns and statements of condemnation or concern. Additionally, UNPO regularly produces publications addressing topics of concern to its Members from their perspective, contributing valuable insight to a number of highly relevant debates.
UNPO West Balochistan representative Monireh Sulemani speaks at a candlelight vigil in Rome, 2010

EFFECTIVE PARTICIPATION TRAINING PROGRAM UNPO is committed to helping Members become more effectively involved in national, regional and international mechanisms to assert their opinions and concerns. While human rights violations often require context-specific action, a wide range of Members have gained important knowledge of the options for action through training programs provided by UNPO. Trainings take place upon request by Members, often in parallel to high‐level meetings at the United Nations and the European ParliaParticipants take part in a lively discussion at SpeakOut!, a ment as well as in local Member communities. UNPO hosted training for indigenous youth activists Continuity and transfer of knowledge and skills to a younger generation is considered fundamental to the work of UNPO. These trainings utilize the train ‐the‐trainer technique, which has the benefit of significant multiplier effects. UNPO’s initiatives focus on interactive training methods and problem-based learning, contributing and providing space for interactive dialogue.

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UNPO 20TH ANNIVERSARY

A MESSAGE FROM MR. LODI G. GYARI, SPECIAL ENVOY TO HIS HOLINESS, THE DALAI LAMA
It is indeed a great honour as one of the Founding Fathers of UNPO to contribute a few words to the UNPO Anniversary Publication as we celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Organisation It is also heartening that many of the founding Members some of whom are no longer associated with UNPO today achieved various form of political solutions to their freedom struggles and live with peace, human rights and democracy towards which UNPO made immense contributions. As UNPO comes to this age, it would be important for Members to note that UNPO was inspired by the Allied Committee of the Peoples of Eastern Turkestan, Innner Mongolia, Manchuria and Tibet founded in 1985 as the concerned peoples decided to work in a coordinated manner to highlight their cause at the international level. As the Allied Committee worked, Tibetans and Uygurs, including Mr. Erkin Alptekin and his colleagues, began to realise that unrepresented peoples and nations required a global platform that generates solidarity and collaboration with and from other oppressed peoples in order to make an impact on the global geopolitics and multilateral avenues. With such objective we initially began outreach during the Sovient Union regime with organisations and dissidents of the freedom struggles in Baltic countries, including late Dr. Linnart Mall of Estonia. Dr. Michael van Walt van Praag, the founding General Secretary of UNPO was also among us and helped conceptualizing the establishment of the UNPO and its programme of work as the Organisation began to grow in terms of Membership. Like the Allied Committee, the establishment of UNPO was deeply inspired by the principle of nonviolence with which His Holiness the Dalai Lama has guided the Tibetan freedom struggle for the past six decades. I am, therefore, deeply grateful that the current leadership of UNPO and Membership which has grown over the years continues to uphold non-violence as its core principle. I was fortunate to be associated with the modest Tibetan contribution to UNPO during the past two decades despite our restraints in terms of human and financial resources and I assure UNPO that we will continue to offer our suggestions to further strengthen your work in the future. In this respect, on behalf of the Founding Fathers of UNPO, I wish to wholeheartedly thank the financial contributors towards the execution of UNPO activities, including the City of Hague, Nonviolent Radical Party, Taiwan Foundation for Democracy, International Campaign for Tibet-Europe and others who generously aided UNPO in the recent years. I would like to conclude this message by thanking the dedicated staff and interns in the UNPO Secretariat, especially the General Secretaries and Members for your continued support to His Holiness the Dalai Lama and six million Tibetan people as we continue to strive for justice, peace and freedom on the Tibetan Plateau. 10 January, 2011 Washington, DC

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SUCCESS STORIES
UNPO MEMBERS BUILDING PEACE AND GAINING PROMINENCE ON THE GLOBAL STAGE

ZANZIBAR
Zanzibar, an autonomous state off the coast of Tanzania, has been a member of UNPO since August 1991. Zanzibar represents a UNPO success story in its efforts to build peace in a state which was prone to intense violence surrounding its elections. In 2009, following yet another outbreak of political violence, the leaders of Zanzibar’s two ma‐ jor parties (CCM and CUF) met to discuss how they could avoid future political turmoil. Following this meeting, the two parties introduced a national unity motion, which would introduce a system of proportional representation into the previously winner-take-all system. On 31 July 2010 this proposal was passed by a peaceful popular referendum.

KOSOVA
On 17 February 2008, members of the Assembly of Kosovo, acting as the elected leaders of the people of Kosovo, unanimously declared Kosovo’s independence from the Serbian state. Later that year, Serbia requested that the International Court of Justice (ICJ) examine the case and issue an opinion on the legality of Kosovo’s declaration of independence. On 22 July 2010, the ICJ issued a ruling declaring that Kosovo’s declaration was not a vio‐ lation of international law, stating further that international law contains no prohibitions against declarations of independence. On the heels of this landmark ruling a number of powerful states have publicly declared their recognition of Kosovo’s status as a fully independent state. At the time of this publication, 74 UN member states have officially recognized Kosovo as an independent state. The ICJ’s ruling has since been used as a precedent by a number of states.
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UNPO 20TH ANNIVERSARY

SOMALILAND
Somaliland formally declared independence from the state of Somalia in 1991, and has been a UNPO Member since 2004. The region has established a strong and democratic system of governance, which has managed to maintain relative peace within its borders. Somaliland has been hailed as a beacon of peace and stability in a region where both are scarce. While the United States government has not verbalized support of an independent Somaliland, it did provide capacity-building support and democracy and governance training to Somaliland’s government in advance of its 2010 elections, which were deemed free and fair by interna‐ tional observers. The success of Somaliland’s democracy is gaining increasingly widespread international recognition and its government maintains informal ties to a number of foreign governments. However, Somaliland has not yet been recognized as an independent state by any country or international organization.

FORMER MEMBERS AT THE UNITED NATIONS
Six former Members of UNPO have achieved full, internationally recognized statehood, and are now members of the United Nations: ESTONIA Founding Member of UNPO. Member of the United Nations since17 September 1991. GEORGIA Founding Member of UNPO. Member of the United Nations since17 September 1991. LATVIA Founding Member of UNPO. Member of the United Nations since 17 September 1991. ARMENIA Founding Member of UNPO Member of the United Nations since 2 March 1992 BELAU (PALAU) Founding Member of UNPO Member of the United Nations since 15 December 1994 EAST TIMOR (TIMOR LESTE) Member of UNPO from 17 January 1993 Member of the United Nations since 27 September 2002

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THE CHALLENGES AHEAD
The work of UNPO, much like the world in which it operates, is increasingly complex. While the past 20 years have seen the success of several movements for statehood from nations formerly occupied by the USSR, many more such movements have been violently suppressed, rejected by both state governments individually and the international community as a whole. Following the attacks of September 11, 2001, governments have found a new weapon to use against those who advocate for self-determination, the recognition of their rights and the survival of their culture. Accusations of terrorism are now routinely leveled against many peaceful advocacy groups. Such accusations are meant to lend legitimacy to brutal crackdowns on groups working for their rights. UNPO works to counter false charges against its Members, defending them in international institutions as well as the court of public opinion. The coming years present a daunting array of new challenges for the organization and its Members. Climate change, population growth and the continued effects of the global economic crisis have and will continue to affect UNPO Members more acutely than much of the world. The effects of global climate change and population growth are expected to drastically increase conflict over the control and distribution of increasingly scarce resources, particularly among groups such as UNPO’s Members, which are de‐ nied access to political institutions and systems of redress at both the local and international levels. The effects of the global financial crisis are likewise felt most strongly among those groups that were already economically vulnerable. UNPO aims to counter the negative effects of these trends, quelling the flames of conflict by encouraging alternative methods of engagement for the peaceful resolution of conflict, and addressing the root causes by promoting the right of all peoples to a peaceful and legitimate process of self-determination. UNPO looks to the future with the same sense of purpose that was present at the Peace Palace 20 years ago. Just as its Members cannot step away from the struggles they face in their daily lives, UNPO will not yield in its efforts to project their voices into the international arena.
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UNPO 20TH ANNIVERSARY

A MESSAGE FROM HIS HOLINESS THE DALAI LAMA

His Holiness the Dalai Lama visits UNPO in The Hague, the Netherlands, 1994

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A MESSAGE FROM FORMER UNPO PRESIDENT, MR. LEDUM MITEE
When in 1991, representatives of 15 nations and peoples met at the Peace Palace in The Hague to found the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization on the basis of the shared principles of non violence, human rights, democracy, environmental protection and self determination, they hardly envisaged that their humble efforts would change the course of several events in many corners of the globe. That within even the first decade of its existence the UNPO membership quadrupled and spread across the globe is testament to the universality of its message and the acceptance of its relevance to world peace. Its achievements, though at times understated, have been phenomenal. Whilst several of the members who sought self determination are now self governing, others are in peace processes whilst several others are increasingly attaining international visibility and exposure. The case of the Ogoni people that I represent is distinctive. The profound sustained international attention and support that our struggle has maintained sprang from our membership in the UNPO, which not only exposed our cause internationally but also built our capacities for international engagements. Our international campaign has been so successful that though it could not save the lives of Ken SaroWiwa and my other colleagues, the fact that I and others were spared is testament to the extent of the local and international pressure that it generated. Realizing that the diverse membership of the UNPO easily represents some of the world’s trouble spots (because of the injustices suffered by members), it is my fervent hope that the world recognizes that in our diversity lies our strength, and that the universality of our valued principles inspires the hope for world peace!

Ledum Mitee

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UNPO 20TH ANNIVERSARY

MESSAGE FROM FORMER PRESIDENT OF UNPO AND CURRENT VICE PRESIDENT OF ZANZIBAR, MR. SEIF SHARIF HAMAD
In 1991, 15 unrepresented nations and peoples gathered in Peace Palace in the Hague to deliberate upon their future. The main focus in that deliberation was to defend the rights of their peoples who remain oppressed in the spirit of non-violence, human rights and democracy. It is a well known proverb that unity is power. That is what made a small group to decide to unite and fight for their primary rights. UNPO was born as an instrument to carry the banner of the crying voices of those deprived peoples. The Founding members of UNPO set principles which were the navigation compass that provided direction on the kinds of activities required for achieving the set goals and mission. UNPO is dedicated to five principles enshrined in its covenant: The right to self-determination; adherence to the internationally accepted human rights standards as laid down in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international instruments; adherence to the principles of democratic pluralism and rejection of totalitarianism and religious intolerance; promotion of non-violence and the rejection of terrorism as an instrument of policy and protection of the natural environment UNPO principles lean on peaceful means of struggle. This means that, once rights desired are obtained, they will not leave scars that vividly remind of the bitter past of struggle, and hence will not create room for revenge. Instead they will establish consultation and consensus in future decision making, friendship and forbearance among the once opposing factions, and green earth as habitat which all of humankind and other living organisms dwell upon. UNPO aimed at and, still aims at raising the awareness of the sufferings of its members to decision making bodies of the word together with raising self-understanding and determination of its members and readiness to peacefully fight against oppression of any sort. To achieve this aim UNPO has initiated and carried out a number of activities, including special programs which aim at raising the awareness of its members globally and assisting members to participate in international forums. UNPO organizes seminars on issues of importance to its members especially in the areas of non-violent struggles against oppressions, the respect of human rights, the observance of international law, as well as the upholding of the democratic principles and the right to self determination. UNPO sets up missions for its members. It tasks such missions to investigate its members’ situations, and also to assist in peaceful resolutions of disputes and conflicts that affect them. Reports collected are disseminated to stakeholders worldwide. One of the important UNPO activities is lobbying especially at the United Nations bodies, European Parliament and the European Commission, on issues of importance concerning its members. It acts as a liaison between the members and these international forums. It has defended cases of violations against its members to the United Nations Commission for Human Rights and Human Rights Council to mention the few. UNPO participates in UN meetings and increases the exposure of its members to UN bodies, facilitates understanding of its members on global issues and brings closer those who are suffering to the eyes of

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world decision makers. Normally UNPO acts as a mediator between NGO’s and UN bodies. Recently it has worked very closely to present members’ concerns in the Universal Periodic Review. Continuously it assists in raising its members concerns to United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous People. In these 20 years UNPO takes pride in its growth. Starting with only 15 members it has now grown to a prominent forum with about 70 members distributed worldwide from Ka Lahui in Hawaii and Trimshian in the west to South Mollucas in the east, from Inkeri and Dene Nation in the north to Mapuche and Africaner in the south. As an organization it has received a number of awards, including: 1991 Tolerance Award, 1992 Social Innovation Award (The Body Shop), 1998 Petra Kelly Peace Award (Heinrich Böll Foundation) and was nominated for the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize and 1994 Right to Livelihood Award. Through UNPO, members have opportunities to present their cases to international bodies such as: the United Nations Human Rights Council, the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, and European Union institutions as well as some regional institutions. There are a number of vivid achievements of UNPO as an organization. Some of its members achieved the desired end of their struggles. To mention a few, East Timor gained independence from Indonesia in 2002. Some former socialist republics of the Soviet Union gained either United Nations recognition or autonomy agreements. These include Armenia, Estonia, Georgia and Latvia. Palau gained independence in 1994. Albanians in Macedonia reached an agreement on wider rights with Macedonia in 2001. Bugainville attained an autonomy agreement with Papua New Guinea in 2000. Gagauzia reached an autonomy agreement with Moldova in 1994. Aceh arrived at an autonomy agreement with Indonesia in 2005; and Lakotah Nation was declared as Republic of Lakotah in 2007. In Zanzibar, now there is a Government of National Unity, and CUF, a member of UNPO, is an integeral part of it. I, therefore, humbly urge all nations and peoples who are struggling for their rights to recognize the important role that UNPO can play in facilitating them to achieve their goals, only if they are prepared to abide by the five covenants of UNPO, should they wish to join the forum. UNPO is an important instrument in the promotion of the rights of, and the recognition of those in suffering, and hence encouraging understanding regionally and globally and ultimately resolving the impasse. I take this opportunity to congratulate UNPO for it’s good and commendable achievements attained so far. Many sufferings have been brought to an end through UNPO activities, missions, deliberations and interventions. However the world still experiences a number of sufferings, human rights violations, dictatorship and environmental degradation. UNPO still has a lot of work ahead. I hope with the conviction and determination of the UNPO Presidency and the General Secretariat, under the able leadership of the General Secretary secretary much can be done and more sufferings will be ended. UNPO is a success story. We are all proud of it. We are looking forward to witness a spirited UNPO scoring more successes in the near future. All of us should support it spiritually, morally, materially, and financially. It can be done, if all of us shall play our parts. Seif Sharif Hamad

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UNPO 20TH ANNIVERSARY

UNPO SUPPORTERS
Contributions from governments, foundations, NGOs and individuals, as well as annual fees from the Members themselves, provide much-needed resources that enable UNPO to continue carrying out its work. In addition to the contribution of funds, UNPO would not succeed without the tireless work of countless volunteers and interns who donate their time to advance the organization’s work. Without the support of its many contributors, UNPO would not be able to succeed. UNPO extends its thanks to the following funders, past and present: Andrew Wainwrights Reform Trust (UK) Beoordelingscommissie Prioriteitenfounds (the Netherlands) Bilance (formerly Cebeno) (the Netherlands) City of the Hague (the Netherlands) Cordaid (the Netherlands) Embassy of South Africa (the Netherlands) European Human Rights Foundation European Commission European Cultural Foundation Evangelische Kirsche Deutschland (Germany) Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs Ford Foundation (US) Friedrich Naumann Foundation (Germany) Greenville Foundation (US) Haella Foundation (the Netherlands) Heinrich Böll Foundation (Germany) HIVOS (the Netherlands) McKnight Foundation (US) Milieu Defensie (the Netherlands) Ministry for Foreign Affairs (Denmark) MISEREOR (Germany) Nando Peretti Foundation (Italy) Netherlands Ministry for Foreign Affairs Norwegian Ministry for Foreign Affairs NOVIB (the Netherlands) Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency Stichting Doen (the Netherlands) Stichting Grote Berg (the Netherlands) Swiss Ministry for Foreign Affairs Taiwan Foundation for Democracy Taiwan Foreign Affairs Ministry Threshold Foundation (US) Transnational Radical Party (Italy) Winston Foundation for World Peace (US) World Council of Churches (Switzerland) World Gratitude Day Foundation (US)

Kerk in Actie (the Netherlands) MacArthur Foundation (US)

Our thanks go out to the many other funders whose contributions, both large and small, have been instrumental in the UNPO’s work over the past twenty years. Our thanks also goes out to the extraordinary efforts of UNPO staff and volunteers, past and present, which allow the organization to continue its extraordinary work.

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The Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) is a democratic, international membership organization. Its Members are indigenous peoples, occupied nations, minorities and independent states or territories who have joined together to protect their human and cultural rights, preserve their environments and find non-violent solutions to conflicts which affect them.

The sustainability of UNPO is partly ensured through much valued donations. Your contribution is crucial to ensuring the continued efforts of UNPO to guarantee participation in international forums of those whose voices are most often unheard. UNPO is a non-profit organization which relies on membership fees, grants and donations, and your support is therefore highly appreciated. Bank details: Bank: ABN Amro Bank Bank Address: Javastraat 1, P.O. Box 4, 2501 CA, The Hague, The Netherlands Beneficiary: Stichting UNPO Account number: 50.05.02.145 BIC Code: ABNANL2A IBAN Code: NL80ABNA0500502145 To donate online visit www.unpo.org and for further information or enquiries please contact the UNPO Secretariat at unpo@unpo.org Tel.: +31 (0)70 3646504 Fax: +31 (0)70 3646608

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UNPO 20TH ANNIVERSARY