Democracy and Human Rights in China
EFD Executive Director Roberta Bonazzi addressed gathering of human rights and democracy defenders from China at Harvard University, Boston, 7-9 November 2008
Organised by the Boston-based democracy and human rights group Initiatives for China, the Fourth Interethnic/Interfaith Leadership Conference brought together over sixty delegates from all Chinese ethnic and religious groups .
As the keynote speaker, Roberta Bonazzi focused on the issue of "Democracy and Universal Human Rights: A Perspective from Europe" and emphasised the "universality" versus "particularity" of human rights. She also highlighted the threat that cultural relativism poses to democracy and freedom and lauded the decision by the European Parliament to award the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought to Hu Jia, the prominent human rights activist and dissident in the People's Republic of China. Bonazzi concluded by encouraging everyone to look beyond the freedoms we enjoy in our open and democratic societies and to work together for the day in which all of us will be free.
The Conference was saluted by the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, The Honorable Nancy Pelosi. His holiness, the Dalai Lama made a statement read by Secretary Thekchen Choeling.