US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken has designated Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights Uzra Zeya to serve concurrently as the United States Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues, an important role she will take on effective immediately.
“She will also continue to serve as Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights, a position for which she was sworn in on July 14, 2021.” Blinken added in a a statement.
Special Coordinator Zeya will coordinate U.S. government policies, programs, and projects concerning Tibetan issues, consistent with the Tibetan Policy Act of 2002, as amended by the Tibetan Policy and Support Act of 2020. Specifically, she will promote substantive dialogue, without preconditions, between the Government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the Dalai Lama, his representatives, or democratically elected Tibetan leaders in support of a negotiated agreement on Tibet. She will promote respect for the human rights and fundamental freedoms of Tibetans, including their freedom of religion or belief, and will support efforts to preserve their distinct historical, linguistic, cultural, and religious heritage. Special Coordinator Zeya will further support U.S. efforts to address the humanitarian needs of Tibetan refugees and diaspora communities, including those in the United States who have faced threats and intimidation instigated by the PRC. She also will promote activities to protect the environment and sustainably manage the water and other natural resources of the Tibetan plateau. Consistent with the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act of 2018, she also will seek to increase access to Tibet for U.S. officials, journalists, and other citizens.
Special Coordinator Zeya will work closely with Tibetan cultural, religious, and political leaders, the U.S. Congress, international allies and partners, and civil society representatives on these matters.
This designation demonstrates the Administration’s commitment to advance the human rights of Tibetans, help preserve their distinct heritage, address their humanitarian needs, and meet environmental and water resource challenges of the Tibetan plateau.