Resolution of the Fifth World Congress of Finno-Ugric Peoples
The I World Congress of the Finno-Ugric Peoples (Syktyvkar, 1992), realizing its responsibility for the nations’ development declared its aims and objectives in the Declaration of Fundamental Principles, Aims and Objectives of the Finno-Ugric Peoples’ Cooperation. The subsequent years have shown relevance and constructiveness of the chosen course. The other three congresses in Budapest (1996), Helsinki (2000) and Tallinn (2004) confirmed that preservation and development of Finno-Ugric and Samoyed peoples and their cultures as part of all mankind’s province will be our major challenge. The participation of the presidents of Hungary, Russian Federation and Estonia in the Congress have also indicated the importance of the Finno-Ugric Cooperation.
The Congress confirms that protection of human rights, the rights of the indigenous peoples and national minorities is not only the issue of the domestic policies of states but of the entire international community. Therefore, it is important, along with the integration of the international human rights standards and national minorities’ human rights into the national legislation, to make use of the gears of the international legal instruments that do not need to be ratified by the states and are directly binding.
The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples approved on September 13, 2007 is considered to be a great achievement in the field of human and indigenous peoples’ rights protection. It had been developing by the international community in partnership with the indigenous peoples for more than 20 years. The Finno-Ugric Peoples Consultative Committee has also made its contribution to the process of the document development through participation in the annual sessions of the Indigenous Peoples United Nations Working Group (Geneva) since 1993 and as part of the activities of the Working Group for Updating the Draft Declaration since 1996 (Geneva, 1996-2006).
International cooperation, primarily, Pan-European Cooperation, is extremely important in meeting those challenges. The Finno-Ugric peoples enrich the European cultural gamut and promote to the cultural dialogue between the Russian Federation and the European Union.
Non-governmental organizations, including the national organizations of Finno-Ugric and Samoyed peoples are becoming an important factor of the civil society formation in our countries.
At the same time, regardless of the many positive changes taking place in recent years, the majority of the Finno-Ugric and Samoyed peoples have been declining in number and one of the reasons was the identity changes under the influence of the external environment.
Taking into account the current situation, the Congress considers it necessary to take the following measures:
In the field of ethno-policy and law:
1. The Congress solicits the Human Rights Commissioner of the Council of Europe on creating a permanent forum of Indigenous Peoples and European national minorities’ issues.
2. The Congress instructs the Consultative Committee to act further as a monitoring coordinator on the international obligations performance concerning human, indigenous peoples and national minorities’ rights protection in the Finno-Ugric and Samoyed peoples’ countries of residence.
3. The Congress encourages governments of the Finno-Ugric peoples’ countries of residence to modernize legislation resting on the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples’ provisions.
4. The Consultative Committee should support national social movements and associations as active and constructive elements of our countries’ civil society.
5. The Congress instructs the Consultative Committee to organize a permanent basis cooperation with international organizations dealing with human rights, rights of national minorities and indigenous peoples; to inform on a regular basis the Finno-Ugric and Samoyed peoples’ national organizations about the activities of those bodies.
6. The Congress appeals to the parliaments of the countries to develop legal mechanisms that would provide good representation of the indigenous peoples and national minorities in the elective bodies and their due participation on the different levels of the authorities.
7. The Congress instructs the Consultative Committee to do surveys in enlarged territorial units of the Russian Federation (Perm Oblast and Krasnoyarsk Krai) about the ethnic health and social status of the Finno-Ugric and Samoyed peoples that reside on those territories.
8. The Congress condemns any acts of racism or xenophobia.
In the field of language rights and education:
1. The Congress points out that the language rights of the Finno-Ugric and Samoyed peoples should be based on the international standards including the European Charter on the Protection of Regional and Minority Languages and encourages the states that have not yet ratified this document to do it as soon as possible
2. The Congress is grateful to the parliaments and governments of Hungary, the Russian Federation, Finland, Estonia and other states where the Finno-Ugric and Samoyed peoples live traditionally for their state support of the languages and cultures. The Congress also encourages promoting further cooperation in this field.
3. The Congress encourages public authorities to create conditions for the real bilingualism formation using the modern informational and educational technology when teaching the Finno-Ugric and Samoyed languages to the children. It also encourages to extend contacts between regional schools and schools in the Finno-Ugric and Samoyed peoples’ countries of residence.
4. The Congress supports staff training activities for the Finno-Ugric and Samoyed regions, in accordance with intergovernmental agreements, the leading educational centers of Hungary, Russia, Finland, Estonia and stresses that special emphasis should be laid upon the effective usage of the national staff potential, which was trained for this purpose.
5. The Congress is concerned with the continued decline of command of native languages in Finno-Ugric and Samoyed minorities and their declined instruction in the national school curricula.
The Congress encourages:
the social organizations and movements of the Finno-Ugric and Samoyed peoples
– to take the lead in creating the system of working with families based on the traditions of ethno-pedagogics;
– to mould a positive public opinion for using a native language in the family;
– to create conditions for implementation of the human right to study and use a native language;
– to develop a network of schools where instruction is made in a native language or a native language is offered as an individual subject and the history and culture of the Finno-Ugric and Samoyed peoples is taught.
6. The Congress is concerned about a bad practice of closing the so-called low-attendance schools on the territories inhabited by national minorities, especially in places where ethnic minorities reside.
7. The Congress instructs the Consultative Committee to study the experiences of language revitalization for the Finno-Ugric and Samoyed minorities using the so-called language nest methods, i.e. when certain preschool groups in kindergartens are fostered in the Finno-Ugric or Samoyed languages, and develop its further dissemination.
8. The Congress considers it necessary to activate the work on developing the terminology in the languages of the Finno-Ugric and Samoyed peoples.
In the field of culture:
1. The Congress welcomes the regular international folklore, ethnofuturistic and theatrical festivals, including ones for children and youths, as well as the days of related peoples, and jubilee events organized in Hungary, Russia, Finland and Estonia, and recommends to continue carrying these out in the future.
2. The Congress welcomes the establishment of Finno-Ugric Cultural Center of the Russian Federation in Syktyvkar and Interregional Povolzhskiy Finno-Ugric Cultural Centre in Saransk, and encourages the other countries to establish relevant bureaus to promote cooperation between them.
3. The Congress attaches importance to development of book publishing in the languages of the Finno-Ugric and Samoyed minorities, and translations of contemporary works and the world classical works into those languages.
4. The Congress encourages the governments of the countries where the Finno-Ugric or Samoyed peoples live to promote assistance to scientific, cultural or educational institutions in converting the archival data to digital media and provide access to them.
5. The Congress considers it necessary to preserve and develop traditional culture and livelihoods.
In the field of mass media and information systems:
1. The Congress supports publishing of the RF AFUN all-Russian newspaper, the activities of the information websites of the Consultative Committee and the Finno-Ugric centers, organization of electronic library in the Finno-Ugric or Samoyed languages and entrusts the Consultative Committee to intensify the efforts focused on the exchange of information with the purpose to organize and operate a single information space on the environmental, public health, educational and cultural problems.
2. The Congress encourages the state agencies to ensure the development of modern mass media for peoples in their native language, covering all areas of life and accessible to the broadest possible audience.
3. The Congress entrusts the Consultative Committee to render assistance in implementing proposals for the possible integration of the languages of Finno-Ugric peoples into widespread computer systems software.
4. To mitigate the effects of territorial disintegration in the information environment of the Finno-Ugric and Samoyed peoples, the Congress entrusts the Consultative Committee to promote to development of an archive of radio- or TV programs in local languages to be located on the Internet as well as wide application of the up-to-date technology to strengthen communication links both within ethnic communities, and in general between the Finno-Ugric and Samoyed peoples.
5. The Congress encourages redoubling attention to publishing of children’s literature and children’s periodicals in the languages of the Finno-Ugric or Samoyed peoples.
In the field of demography, public health, and ecology:
1. The Congress supports the continued research in the health status of the people who live in the residing areas of the Finno-Ugric or Samoyed peoples, the impact of the environmental factors on it, climate change surveys and information sharing in this field, as well surveys conducted on the problems of the family, mother and child.
2. The Congress encourages regular international conferences on the problems of environmental conversation, demography and health and publishing a scientific journal on those problems.
3. The Congress appeals to the governments of the countries with a proposal to renew the annual statistical records of socio-economic and demographic indicators for indigenous peoples or ethnic groups.
The Congress recommends to the Consultative Committee to organize in 2010 an international conference to analyze the interim results of implementing the resolution and recommendations of this Congress, with extensive coverage of its final results in mass media.
The Congress entrusts the Consultative Committee to consider the requests, comments and suggestions presented at the Congress.
The Congress expresses gratitude to the organizing committees of V World Congress of the Finno-Ugric Peoples in the Russian Federation and Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug (Yugra) for creating excellent job conditions of the world congress.