Remarks at a Third Committee Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur in the Field of Cultural Rights (via VTC)

Marilyn Gayton
ECOSOC Advisor
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York, New York
October 22, 2020


Thank you, Special Rapporteur Bennoune.

The United States is concerned by the repression of the Tibetan community, including the lack of meaningful autonomy for Tibet, the deterioration of the human rights situation in Tibetan areas, and severe restrictions on Tibetans’ religious, cultural, and linguistic identity.

Moreover, we are concerned by recent reports of forced labor in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR).

These manifestations of repression are part of a broad campaign by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to suppress the ethnic, religious, and cultural identities of minority and faith groups.

We are troubled by the demolition campaigns at Larung Gar and Yarchen Gar Tibetan Buddhist Institutes. Thousands of monks and nuns have been removed from Larung Gar and Yarchen Gar and forced to undergo political indoctrination at detention centers.

PRC authorities restrict Tibetan language education in both schools and monasteries.

The Chinese government obstructs travel to the Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR) and other Tibetan areas by diplomats and other officials, journalists, tourists, and the UN independent experts. Tibet is the only region of China for which a special travel permit is required for foreigners.

We are concerned by reports of the government’s ongoing efforts to “Sinicize” all religious groups in China, including Tibetan Buddhists, through formal five-year plans that prioritize loyalty to the Chinese Community Party and the state-run Buddhist Association of China.

We remain committed to supporting meaningful autonomy for Tibetans, respect for their human rights and fundamental freedoms, and the preservation of their unique religious, cultural, and linguistic identity.

The United States engages with partners and experts around the world to encourage the CCP to respect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of Tibetans and enter into dialogue with the Dalai Lama or his representatives without preconditions.

We share UN experts’ serious concerns over the criminalization of linguistic and cultural rights advocates in Tibet.

Question: Special Rapporteur, what is your assessment of the PRC’s alleged arbitrary detention or disappearance of human rights defenders in Tibet?