“I welcome the creation of the International Tibet Support Network… the time is now ripe for our friends to systematically coordinate their efforts” His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

In 1999, Thubten Samdup (above), convened an ad hoc Working Group to develop a proposal to create a coordination mechanism for the global Tibet movement, and is therefore regarded as International Tibet Network’s founder. On 14 May 2000, participants of the 3rd International Tibet Support Groups Conference voted unanimously in support of the idea, thus creating the International Tibet Network.

HHITSNHis Holiness the Dalai Lama wholeheartedly welcomed this decision and said he understood that The Network will “provide these diverse and geographically dispersed actors opportunities to jointly develop strategies, share information, skills and resources and coordinate international actions. In short, [The Network] will assist Tibet campaigners in reaching a new level of international cooperation and action.” Click on the image (left) to read His Holiness’ full statement.

Since May 2000, the Network has grown to a membership of over 180 Groups around the world supported by a small Secretariat, that has assisted the development and implementation of a range of strategic campaigns. The Network has convened more than 15 Regional Conferences attended by many hundreds of Tibet campaigners, and disbursed over 150 small grants and travel bursaries to Member Groups.

The photo below shows the Network’s first fully elected Steering Committee, at its first Annual General Meeting, in India, June 2001.unnamed