Uyghur Americans Elect Delegates to 7th Assembly of the World Uyghur Congress
For immediate release
August 24, 2021 9:00 a.m. EDT
Contact: Omer Kanat, +1 (202) 816-0598
On August 22, Uyghur Americans elected 15 delegates to the next General Assembly of the World Uyghur Congress, the international organisation that represents the collective interest of the Uyghur people both in East Turkistan and abroad.
The World Uyghur Congress 7th General Assembly will be held in November in Prague, bringing together 210 delegates from over 20 countries. The Assembly will hold elections for the WUC leadership, who will have the mandate to identify and impement a global strategy to end the ongoing genocide of the Uyghur people in East Turkistan, in line with the WUC mission to promote freedom, human rights, and democracy for the Uyghur people.
The 15 delegates elected by Uyghur Americans will represent the interests and concerns of Uyghurs in the United States at the 7th Assembly. Over 150 people from 16 U.S. states joined the hybrid election process on August 22, which combined both in-person and virtual voting to accommodate Uyghurs from across the United States.
“The World Uyghur Congress operates on democratic principles. Our successful election in the U.S. this weekend provides a strong mandate for Uyghur American delegates in the discussions in November,” said Omer Kanat, who is Executive Director of the Uyghur Human Rights Project and serves in the current WUC leadership as Chair of the Executive Committee. He is also a past officer of the Uyghur American Association.
Kanat added, “The World Uyghur Congress represents the Uyghur people on the world stage. The upcoming meeting is critical for setting the agenda for our global struggle to end the genocide of our people. It is important that there was wide participation in selecting our U.S. delegates to the upcoming assembly.”
During the General Assembly, the 16 committees of the WUC and the other elected officers will report on the organization’s activities from 2017–2021. Following this, the current board members will step down, and the delegates will elect the new President, new committee chairs and other board officers. The newly elected board and president will then meet to strategize and plan the organization’s priorities and activities for the next three years.
The WUC was established in April 2004 in Munich, Germany, after the East Turkistan National Congress and the World Uyghur Youth Congress merged into one united organisation. The WUC is a democratic organisation. The WUC leadership is democratically elected by the participants from all over the world in the General Assembly, serving a three-year term. WUC affiliates in more than 20 countries, and has close contacts and working relations with most Uyghur organisations around the world that peacefully promote human rights, religious freedom, and democracy for the Uyghur people in East Turkistan.
The WUC engages in a wide-range of awareness raising and advocacy campaigns about the human rights situation for Uyghurs in the PRC, concentrating on the United States Congress, EU member states, and EU and UN human rights mechanisms. It works closely with the EU Commission (especially the EEAS), the EU Parliament (including the EU Sub-committee on Human Rights), NGOs, the UN Treaty Bodies, (CERD, CAT, CEDAW) and UN Special Procedures (the Special Rapporteurs, Independent Experts and Working Groups).
The WUC also participates actively with the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) throughout the year and submits written statements and reports, delivers oral statements to plenary sessions, and organizes side events that focus on human rights abuses by the Government of China. The UN Forum on Minority Issues also provides opportunities to advocate for global action on the Uyghur crisis.