Directors Visit Europe, China

From May 14 to June 17, Dui Hua Executive Director John Kamm visited European capitals before traveling to Hong Kong and Beijing on one of his quarterly trips to China. Director Bill McCahill joined Kamm in Bergen and Oslo in Norway, Stockholm, and Copenhagen. Kamm was joined in Rome by Director Hal Furman, in Hong Kong by Director Tom Gorman, and again in Beijing by McCahill.

Kamm met with senior government officials in charge of human rights dialogues and consultations with China in Bergen, Oslo, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Geneva, Berne, and Rome. Meetings were also held with parliamentarians, scholars, journalists, senior members of international organizations like the International Committee of the Red Cross and the International Olympic Committee, and representatives of human rights NGOs. A wide range of subjects were discussed, including China’s death penalty reform, the 2008 Olympic Games, and recent developments in China’s human rights dialogues with western governments and NGOs.

While in Hong Kong, Kamm addressed the American Chamber of Commerce. Focusing on the Olympics, he predicted that China would take steps to address the humanitarian crisis in Darfur and continue sharp cuts in the number of executions. His remarks received wide coverage in the international media, and shortly after the speech China announced its support for UN troops in Darfur and its commitment to continue reducing prisoner executions.

Kamm was granted all of his requests for meetings in Beijing. In addition to a wide-ranging session with a senior representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kamm met two judges of the Supreme People’s Court to discuss expanding Dui Hua’s work into the field of juvenile justice. He was also able to obtain important information about individual prisoners and met with ambassadors to the United States, Switzerland, and Norway as well as representatives of more than a dozen foreign embassies involved in human rights exchanges with the Chinese government.

Dui Hua Hosts Swiss UN Ambassador

Dui Hua hosted Peter Maurer, Switzerland’s first ambassador to the United Nations, for a Bay Area visit during which he made two talks on May 3. Ambassador Maurer first spoke at Stanford University on Switzerland’s role in the United Nations and European human rights and security issues. He then made a speech at Dui Hua’s first co-sponsored program with the Commonwealth Club of California in San Francisco. In this second talk, Maurer assessed the effectiveness of the UN Human Rights Council, which Switzerland was instrumental in creating, over the Council’s first five years. Executive Director John Kamm served as moderator of the Commonwealth Club program.

New Staff Member Joins Dui Hua

Scott Berkland joined Dui Hua in June as a full-time program and research officer after working as a freelance researcher for the foundation over the past two years. Following his undergraduate studies at the University of Texas, Scott worked and studied for extended periods in Japan, China, Taiwan, and Korea, including a two-year posting as a Peace Corps volunteer in China’s Sichuan Province. Just prior to coming to Dui Hua, Scott earned a master’s degree in East Asian Studies from Harvard University, where he focused on Chinese language, history, economic development, law, politics, and business management and served as president of the Harvard East Asia Society. In addition to continuing to help Dui Hua in areas of research, Scott will be responsible for overseeing some of the foundation’s special projects and development activities. The foundation welcomes Scott to our growing team.