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UNPO Celebrates 20 Years of Nonviolent Struggle

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UNPO PRESS RELEASE FEBRUARY 2, 2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

UNPO Celebrates 20 Years of Nonviolent Struggle
The Peace Palace in The Hague, seat of the International Court of Justice, plays host to Vice President of Zanzibar and Minister of Foreign Affairs to the Republic of Abkhazia during commemorative activities marking 20th anniversary of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization.

A variety of events taking place on 11th February 2011 in The Hague, City of Peace and Justice, will mark UNPO’s 20th Anniversary, recognizing the organization’s crucial role in giving voice to marginalized nations and peoples around the world. An international group of Founding Fathers will gather alongside current Members and honorary guests from around the world to share in the successes of the previous two decades.

The anniversary remains a bittersweet reminder of the critical situation of minority populations, indigenous peoples and occupied or unrecognized territories in the world today since rather than reduce in its scope and mandate, UNPO has instead grown from 15 founding members to more than 50 today. Whilst the aims and objectives of each Member differ, they are united by the commonplace curtailment of their cultural, religious, linguistic and political rights. A conference at the Peace Palace, the seat of the International Court of Justice, entitled “Tracing the Past to Look Forward” will investigate the evolution of understanding the terms Self-Determination and Autonomy over the previous two decades. Key speakers and honorary guests include, His Excellency Seif Sharif Hamad, First Vice President of Zanzibar, Maxim Gundjia, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Abkhazia, Lodi Gyari-Special Envoy to his Holiness the Dalai Lama, Emma Bonino, Vice President of the Italian Senate (TBC), Member of the International Court of Justice (TBC), Harry van Bommel, Member of Dutch Parliament from the Socialist Party and the Honourable Ambassador of Bolivia to The Netherlands. The International Policy Advisor of the City of The Hague will read a statement on behalf of the Mayor of The Hague.

The anniversary will also see the opening of a Photo Exhibition entitled “Unhidden Faces” at the City Hall of The Hague, which will run until March 2, 2011. The exhibition will showcase images depicting UNPO’s Members, their diversity in ethnicity, culture, religion and politics which remain largely unknown to world. It will be opened on 11th February 2011 at 4p.m. by a prayer chant led by Khmer-Krom Buddhist Monks, followed by a welcoming address by Marjolein de Jong, Vice Mayor of The Hague.

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For more information: www.unpo.org
Caroline de Bruin | +31 (0) 703646504 | cdebruin[@]unpo.org
Photo Exhibition: The Hague Municipality, Spui 70, 2511BT, The Hague.
Feb 11 2011 – March 2 2011
Note: The conference requires registration however the photo exhibition is free and open to the public. UNPO looks forward to
welcoming the general public during its celebrations.

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