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3 march 2012 002GENEVA: Ms Maria Otero, US Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights addressed the 19th Session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva this morning.

Expressing US Government's grave concern at the current situation in Tibet, Ms Otero said, "Lastly, the United States remains gravely concerned about recent violence and continuing tensions in Tibetan areas of China. We call on all governments including China to respect the fundamental freedoms of religion and expression of all of its citizens including members of ethnic minorities."

She said human rights have universal application. All governments must respect the human rights of individuals, protect the ability of individuals to exercise their rights, and create mechanisms for transparent and accountable governance.

Ms Otero also serves as the Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues at the US Statement Department. Mr. Tenzin S Kayta, Tibet Bureau in Geneva's Human Rights Officer thanked Ms. Otero for her statement on Tibet at the UN.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Geneva Representative Mr. Tseten S Chhoekyapa and Mr. Kayta briefed the US Mission in Geneva's Human Rights officials the present situation in Tibet in run up to the UN Human Rights Council's 19th session - 27 February to 23 March 2012.